The Delta variant has wreaked havoc across the world, with many countries recording their highest numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths since the pandemic began. The World Health Organization has predicted there could be more than 200 million confirmed cases within a matter of weeks.
The pandemic has caused one of the biggest increases in world hunger in decades. Health systems have been overwhelmed, while many countries are facing political instability as residents protest against inadequate responses to the pandemic.
Australia’s aid response has focused on the Pacific region as part of the Partnerships for Recovery program. While we’ve pledged $130 million to COVAX to distribute vaccines around the world, this is significantly less than most other countries, with other countries pledging billions of dollars and hundreds of millions of vaccines.