Australia provides Covid-19 relief to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka

Joint statement by Senator Marise Payne, Peter Dutton and Senator Zed Seselja

The Morrison Government stands with our partners in the Indo-Pacific as they face significant health and humanitarian challenges from COVID-19, today delivering medical supplies to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

An Australian Defence Force C-17A Globemaster aircraft departed Perth this morning, carrying oxygen equipment for India and Personal Protective Equipment for Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Nineteen of India’s 36 states and union territories have already received Australian medical supplies from previous deliveries, including 3000 ventilators and 250 oxygen concentrators. These form part of our $37.1 million package of support for India. Working in partnership with the Indian Government, the Indian Red Cross Society and local authorities are distributing Australian-donated supplies to people most in need.

Today’s delivery coincides with the first anniversary of the elevation of our ties with India to the level of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The C-17A Globemaster will transport an eight-tonne oxygen tank the size of a shipping container, which has been purchased by Indian firm Tata Steel, and is used to store and transport medical oxygen in bulk.

This follows the Indian Air Force’s successful humanitarian airlift of other oxygen tanks from Australia on 5 May. The practical value of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has been demonstrated by the effective working relationship and interoperability between the Indian and Australian Defence Forces.

PPE, donated by the Western Australian Government and delivered to Nepal and Sri Lanka, will provide essential support to frontline workers.

The Morrison Government has already committed $7 million for emergency relief to Nepal, with support to be delivered by trusted on-the-ground partners.

We are also contributing $5.5 million for emergency relief in Sri Lanka as it faces its own health and humanitarian challenges. 

The Australian Government welcomes the close cooperation with the Sri Lankan Government to allow Mattala airport to be used as the hub for the delivery and distribution of these COVID-19 support supplies to the other countries.

Just as India provided vaccines to the Pacific ”“ including through COVAX ”“ Australia is supporting India and its neighbours.

Australia continues to work in partnership with our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific to support our shared regional recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect lives and livelihoods.”

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