UNAIDS congratulates Australia on health investment in Asia Pacific

UNAIDS congratulates Australia on newly announced plans to invest AUD 620 million over the next five years for health programmes across the Pacific and south-east Asia. The investment is part of a new initiative called Partnerships for a Healthy Region, which will include measures to prevent, diagnose and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.  

Australia will use the funds to sustain existing investments in sexual and reproductive health and rights while helping to restore Asia-Pacific health systems and build on investments made during the acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. The new initiative aims to tackle and prevent infectious disease outbreaks, address non-communicable diseases and improve mental health. The funds will also support research and development for vaccines, drugs and diagnostics for diseases that affect the Pacific and south-east Asia. 

UNAIDS Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Eamonn Murphy, said the impact of the funds will be keenly felt in a region that has relatively few international development programmes for health.  

The Pacific region faces multiple health challenges including intimate partner violence, limited laws and regulations to guarantee access to sexual and reproductive health care, information and education, and low rates of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).  

“With this investment, Australia is addressing the full mix of health needs of communities across the region, including HIV, stigma and discrimination, human rights and sexual and reproductive health,” he said. “It is a welcome boost to ending the AIDS pandemic in the region.” 

Mr Murphy noted that Australia had a long-standing commitment to HIV in the region and played an active role in the governance of UNAIDS.  

“We appreciate our close partnership and look forward to working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to ensure that HIV and health investments are effective and directed to the people in greatest need, including through community leadership,” Mr Murphy said. 

UNAIDS currently administers several Australian investments in Asia and the Pacific, supporting countries in strengthening their national HIV responses through scaling up access to prevention, treatment and care services for young people and key populations and empowering communities to engage in the HIV response. 

Regional Health Partnership (strategic partnerships and projects) and Product Development and Access Partnerships will be awarded through competitive processes and will focus on supporting communicable and non-communicable disease control, and the development and adoption of new vaccines, drugs, diagnostics and mosquito-control technologies relevant for the Pacific and Southeast Asia.  

Calls for proposals for partnerships to support product development and access to new products – NOW OPEN

Calls for proposals for strategic partnerships and projects focused on the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases – NOW OPEN

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