With news this morning that the Government has an agreement to secure vaccines for Australians, aid organisations leading the charge on the ‘End COVID For All’ campaign said it was encouraging to hear the Prime Minister bring assurance that Australia would look to secure “early access to the vaccine for regional neighbours”.
“We welcome the news this morning. Supporting each other and acting together is the only way out of this crisis,” said Tim Costello, prominent voice on the campaign.
“‘End COVID For All’ opposes vaccine nationalism, and while Australia might be rejoicing right now about this deal, we also acknowledge it’s only secure for us Aussies. We encourage the Prime Minister to continue his work and lock down vaccines for vulnerable nations in our region.”
“Because as this virus has shown us; this doesn’t end until it ends for everyone.”
Plan International CEO Susanne Legena added her support for a universally free vaccine for all people – particularly vulnerable and at risk people living in poorer communities.
“As an organisation that cares deeply for children and girls’ equality, I want to stress the message that it’s really important we don’t forget them while we try to keep ourselves safe. We have to keep pushing for their rights. A vaccine must be available to the poorest people on our planet,” Ms Legena said.
Together with high profile supporters, from former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, to epidemiologists, CEOs, health specialists and celebrities, humanitarian organisations area asking Australians to pledge support for vulnerable nations who are battling COVID-19 with weaker health systems.
Today - on World Humanitarian Day -‘End COVID For All’ will be joined by prominent Australians including Carrie Bickmore, Sammy J, Adam Liaw, Dr. Susan Carland, Mel Doyle, and Plan International ambassador Benjamin Law. They will voice their support by ‘masking up’ and ask fans to join them in signing the ‘End COVID For All’ pledge.
Over 150 organisations and over thirteen thousand Australians have ‘ signed the pledge’ to stand in solidarity with our neighbours and to encourage the Australian Government to continue to provide vital support to developing nations through this crisis.
It comes as close neighbours like Indonesia and the Philippines struggle to contain the virus, with the outbreak in India now the fastest growing in the world, with around 60,000 cases being reported each day.
Tim Costello continued: “Many of our closest neighbours such as Papua New Guinea have no running water for thousands of school children to wash their hands. In Timor-Leste, there are only five ICU beds for the whole population and 70% of health posts lack access to running water.”
In the world’s largest refugee settlement, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 40,000 refugees live in each square kilometre, meaning social distancing is near impossible.
Tim Costello called for Australians to join #EndCovidForAll: “Aussies are kind and compassionate. Even though we are still battling the virus here, thousands of people have shown they are ready to show solidarity with those overseas, and encourage our government to be generous.
“Today, we stand together and say ‘we can look after those at home and lend support to our global neighbours’ .”
Australians are being asked to join the call and sign the pledge at www.endcovidforall.com To use the virtual reality ‘End COVID For All’ face mask on the 19th go to the @EndCOVIDForAll Facebook or Instagram.