Australians call for boost to overseas COVID-19 funding to avoid deadly second waves

·    61 per cent of Australians believe the Government should increase funding to combat COVID-19 in other parts of the world   

·    If COVID-19 deaths mirror the 1918 influenza pandemic, more than 1.56 million people globally may die after a second wave with potentially millions more dying from secondary health impacts 

·    Multiple waves of the virus could continue to threaten millions of lives if world leaders fail to prioritise vulnerable people 

AN overwhelming number of Australians want the government to invest more in the global battle against COVID-19, recognising that repeated outbreaks in other countries will impact their own lives. 
New polling released today reveals most Australians have thrown their support behind helping vulnerable countries with 82 per cent believing life will not return to normal until COVID-19 is controlled in every corner of the globe.  
To tackle this, 61 per cent said they would support the Australian Government to increase humanitarian and development funding to tackle COVID-19 in other parts of the world. 
ACFID CEO, Marc Purcell said:  “Australia has a pre-COVID development budget for a COVID world. We have a leading role to play to help prevent a merry-go-round of lockdowns and suffering. But our response should not depend on running down other initiatives.  
“This is totally unsustainable for our response to a poorer and more unstable world and to meet the Government’s own aspirations to be a partner-of-choice in our neighbourhood.” 
High public support comes as a new report by World Vision -The Aftershocks: Deadly Waves - warns that 1.56 million people are at risk of dying in a deadlier second wave of COVID-19 if governments fail to create a unified, global response to the crisis. 
World Vision Australia has urged the Australian Government to scale-up humanitarian funding to the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan to protect communities and to help governments to invest in robust testing and tracing to help avoid extended lockdowns. 
World Vision Australia’s Acting CEO, Graham Strong, said:  “Only a fifth of the UN appeal has been met. Without adequate assistance the world’s most fragile countries will be ill-equipped, risking a rolling cycle of lockdowns. This is going to be a particularly acute challenge in Australia’s region where 17 of 20 of our closest neighbours are developing countries. 
“The health, humanitarian and economic challenges arising from the pandemic require solidarity and a global response at a magnitude never seen before,” said Strong. 
If the virus continued to thrive in fragile countries, it would pose a perpetual health and economic threat to both the world’s poorest people and the developed world, the new report found.  
It warned that like countries devastated by illnesses like HIV or Ebola, many more vulnerable countries will inevitably require massive investment to address the social and economic fallout from COVID-19.   

 “Our latest research is clear; people want governments to lift their eyes above the horizon to the global battle and ensure the most vulnerable are taken care of. They are looking for leadership and for nations to act in unity to end COVID for all,” said Mr Strong.   
Polling was conducted by World Vision in Canada, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Australia ahead of the report’s release. 
After Canadians, Australians showed the greatest support for increased investment to end COVID19 beyond their own shores. 
You can read World Vision's Aftershocks: Deadly Waves  report here.
About the Polling From August 12-19, 1056 Australians aged 18+ Australians were polled Question set and results 
Life won’t return to normal unless COVID-19 controlled in all parts of the world
Agree 82% Disagree  14%

An outbreak in another part of the world will impact my country
Agree 84% Disagree  12%

Normal life can't return if there are spikes in COVID-19 cases in other parts of the world
Agree 73% Disagree  22%

Are you worried about a second wave?
Agree  79% Disagree  18%

Government should increase ODA spend to combat COVID-19 in other parts of the world 
Agree  61% Disagree  31% 

For further information contact Elissa Doherty 040 999 44 33,

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