Parliamentarians Rally Around Vaccines

RESULTS Australia’s CEO Maree Nutt with  Liberal MP Philip Ruddock  and Labor MP Tanya Plibersek

December 8, 2014

Broad consensus across parliament on a single issue has been hard to find lately. However, in the final sitting week of Parliament, support from all major parties and crossbenchers coalesced around one major issue of crucial global importance: vaccines for children in the developing world.

A letter to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, showing support for continued Australian funding to an organisation that provides vaccines to the poorest countries in the world, has garnered significant political support, including by Philip Ruddock, Tanya Plibersek, Nick Xenophon and Clive Palmer.

In total, 100 Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum came forward to sign the letter.

RESULTS International (Australia), the antipoverty advocacy organisation that initiated the letter, was pleased to see so much support from across parliament for the aid program.

“Gavi has received support through Australian aid funding for nine years,” said Maree Nutt, CEO of RESULTS.

“Our aid money has vaccinated hundreds of millions of children against deadly diseases such as measles, pneumonia and diarrhoea. This is an issue with broad support across Parliament,” Ms Nutt continued.

Cross-parliamentary support has been demonstrated in the parliamentary morning tea on October 29th, where Foreign Minister Julie Bishop thanked the Labor party for their continuing support while in government, and pledged a further $50 million to the organisation.

“Australia has been a major supporter of Gavi, and sits within the top ten donor countries. It’s been shown to be an efficient and impactful use of our aid money, and we want Australia to continue its current level of aid, as it clearly saves lives and strengthens economies,“ Ms Nutt said.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is an organisation that subsidises vaccines for the poorest countries in the world. Since its establishment in 2000, Gavi has supported the immunisation of nearly 500 million children across the world, nearly half of whom live in the Asia Pacific region.

ENDS

Maree Nutt
CEO, RESULTS International (Australia)
Email: maree.nutt@results.org.au | Mobile: 0404 808 849