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Global health initiatives

DFAT's support for global health initiatives complements our country and regional health programs - improving development cooperation on priority health issues and increasing the effectiveness of our health development program. Information on some of these key activities can be found below.

World Health Organization (WHO)

$15 million (2023-24 core contribution)

The WHO is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations (UN) system. It delivers technical expertise to countries in our region, assisting governments to build resilient country-level health systems and services that are responsive to people's health needs. The WHO plays a lead role in supporting countries to prepare for, identify and respond to emerging diseases, as well as strengthening regional preparedness and capacity to respond to health threats. It also leads global responses to global and regional health threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and is the lead for the UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee's Global Health Cluster in humanitarian emergencies.

WHO is a valued partner of Australia, and we work closely to strengthen WHO operations and health outcomes in our region. Australia (DFAT) provides the WHO with annual core voluntary contributions in a flexible and predictable manner to support delivery of its Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019-23 and to advance Sustainable Development Goal 3 - Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, by:

  • achieving universal health coverage
  • addressing health emergencies
  • promoting healthier populations.

This is complemented by regional and bilateral funding, as well as Australia’s assessed contributions, funded by the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care.

Australia is working closely with the WHO and partners to reform global health systems to enhance our collective capabilities to prevent, prepare for and respond to future pandemics and health emergencies.

Related links

World Health Organization

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

$9.5 million annual core contribution (2023-2024)

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is a key organisation in supporting global achievement of health, education and gender equality objectives under the Sustainable Development Goals. It is the lead organisation within the UN system responsible for ensuring progress towards universal realisation of sexual and reproductive health and rights, including improving maternal health, increasing access to family planning services, preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, ending gender-based violence (GBV) as well as addressing issues such as forced and early childhood marriage. UNFPA also provides technical guidance, training and support to its partners in the field to collect, analyse and apply population data for improved, evidence-based public policy. Australia provides UNFPA with annual core contributions in a flexible and predictable manner to support the implementation of UNFPA's Strategic Plan.

Related links

United Nations Population Fund

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

$25 million (2023-27)

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is the primary global multilateral agency responding to HIV/AIDS. Its mandate is to provide international coordination, leadership, data, strategic guidance and advocacy to:

  • mobilise global resources for the HIV/AIDS response
  • support countries to implement effective national HIV responses, amend discriminatory laws and policies, increase domestic spending on HIV, and successfully apply for and implement external HIV grants.

Australia provides UNAIDS with annual core funding of AUD5 million under the DFAT-UNAIDS Strategic Partnership Framework 2022-27 to support the contribution of UNAIDS to the implementation of the Global AIDS Strategy 2021-26, with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia is also providing non-core funding to UNAIDS under Australia’s ‘set aside’ to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (see section further below on the Global Fund) – to catalyse Global Fund HIV investments in the Indo-Pacific.

UNAIDS is advancing a multisectoral and inclusive global response to end AIDS by 2030 worldwide, by uniting the efforts of 11 United Nations organisations (UNHCR, UNICEF, WPF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO, World Bank) and enabling an NGO delegation to sit on its governing body alongside Australia and other member states, to give voice to those living with and impacted by HIV.

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Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)

$43.55 million (2022-26)

The world has made great gains in polio eradication. Since GPEI's inception in 1988, the incidence of wild poliovirus has decreased by more than 99 per cent and now remains endemic in only two countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan). There has though been an increase in reported vaccine derived polio (cVDPV) cases – and this has become a significant global challenge over the past five years. While a polio-free world is in sight, ongoing support is needed to achieve the end game objectives in the Global Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026. In 2022 Australia committed an additional $43.55 million to help procure vaccines, strengthen surveillance, and transition polio activities into routine immunisation systems.

Related links

Global Polio Eradication Initiative

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)

$4.0 million core contribution (2022-23)

IPPF is the largest non-government provider of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services worldwide. It is also a leading global advocate for sexual and reproductive health rights.  In 2022 IPPF delivered 226.9 million sexual and reproductive health services and contributed to 150 policy and legal changes in support of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Australia has funded IPPF since 1974 and provided core contributions since 1992 to support IPPF deliver against its Strategic Plan. In addition to core funding, Australia provides an annual allocation to IPPF to advance SRHR in the Pacific.

Related links

International Planned Parenthood Federation

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

$266 million (2023-2025)

Australia contributes to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an international financing partnership that supports large-scale prevention, treatment and care programs and strengthens health systems in developing countries. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in our region affects Australia's national interest both directly, through the immediate health risks to our citizens, and indirectly, through the loss of economic opportunities.

Australia pledged AUD266 million to the Global Fund for the 2023-25 period, up from AUD242 million for 2020-22. Ten per cent of Australia’s pledge (AUD26.6 million) has been ‘set aside’ to support investments (such as laboratory capacity strengthening and HIV prevention) in the Indo-Pacific between 2023-25.

Since 2002, the Global Fund has worked in partnership with national governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by HIV, TB and malaria to achieve:

  • 59 million lives saved
  • USD9.5 billion in programs to prevent TB, representing 76 per cent of all international financing for TB programs
  • USD16.2 billion for the fight against malaria, representing 65 per cent of all international financing for malaria programs
  • USD27.8 billion for HIV programs, representing 28 per cent of all international financing for HIV programs.

Activities include, but are not limited to, epidemic preparedness assessment, laboratory testing, sample transportation, use of surveillance infrastructure, infection control in health facilities and information campaigns.

The Global Fund has provided USD5 billion globally to support countries and communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact on HIV, TB and malaria. The Global Fund’s 2023-28 strategy includes an increased focus on incorporating pandemic preparedness needs into funding for resilient and sustainable systems for health.

Related links

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Gavi the Vaccine Alliance

$300 million (2021-2025)

DFAT has a long-standing partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and has committed $300 million AUD from 2021-2025 to enhance routine immunisation, and $215 million to the COVAX Advance Market Coordination (AMC) mechanism to support equitable access to Covid19 vaccines.

Gavi helps lower-income countries build up their routine immunisation and introduce new vaccines. Through partnerships with manufacturers, Gavi shapes global vaccine markets and pools vaccine procurement to secure low vaccine prices for eligible countries. It donates vaccines for countries’ routine immunisation programs with minimal co-financing from recipient governments, funds vaccination campaigns and supports their outbreak responses. It also provides technical assistance and grants to strengthen country health systems to enhance immunisation outcomes. Building on the COVAX experience, Gavi has also started providing catalytic support to Middle Income Countries to introduce a set of new vaccines and mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on their routine immunisation programmes.

Gavi also uses innovative approaches to generating funding for development, including the International Finance Facility for Immunisation mechanism (IFFIm), which generates funds for Gavi programs through issuing bonds on capital markets. Over 2010-2030 Australia is providing $287.5 million to IFFM.

Gavi has supported 16 countries in the region with more than US$3 billion in vaccine, health system, and immunisation systems support since 2000. Gavi's support has led to the immunisation of more than 822 million children worldwide, including over 318 million the Indo-Pacific, and has helped avert 3.2 million deaths in our region.

Related links

Gavi the Vaccine Alliance

COVAX Facility

The Pandemic Fund

$50 million (2022-2026)

The Pandemic Fund provides additional, long-term financing to strengthen national, regional and global pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) capabilities.

Launched in 2022, the Pandemic Fund is the culmination of global efforts to ensure the world learns lessons from COVID-19. Key independent reviews of the global COVID-19 response, including the WHO-commissioned Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response and the G20 High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, identified significant financing shortfalls for pandemics and recommended establishing a new international financing facility to mobilise long-term, predictable and sustainable funding. Hosted by the World Bank and drawing on the technical expertise of the WHO, the Pandemic Fund brings together key financial and health institutions to address the risks of future pandemics to health and the global economy.

Related links

The Pandemic Fund


* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity

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