#EndCOVIDForAll

By Donna Shepherd AM • Managing Director
• News

The strength of our communities has been on display for all to see this year as we pulled together to navigate the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This has taken a strong commitment from people, organisations and governments to do their part to protect others and limit spread of the coronavirus.

We’ve seen the spirit of humanity prove that together, we truly are stronger.

At Creating Communities, we believe in the power of community to make positive change. Our work in communities across the State and beyond facilitates people and local stakeholders to have a genuine role in shaping the decisions that affect them. We facilitate co-design processes to bring people together with agencies and policy makers so that their vision and strategies for the future can be brought into reality.

But we recognise that community doesn’t end at State or national borders. And our international community needs our support.

Many countries simply are not equipped to deal with the catastrophic fallout of the pandemic and continue to be devastated by a virus that shows no signs of slowing down.

We need to extend a hand to our global community, and show the same care and support for our neighbours as we did our own local communities.

This means working to provide hope for vulnerable people, to strengthen health systems, protect essential aid programs, and help kick-start economic recovery in countries that lack the structures and resources to manage on their own.

We welcome the Australian Government’s decision to join COVAX, a global vaccines facility led by the World Health Organisation, epidemic response group CEPI and the Vaccine Alliance of Governments and Organisations. More than 150 countries have signed on to the scheme, which aims to develop and distribute 2 billion doses of safe, effective vaccines by the end of 2021.

Under the plan, developed and developing countries pool their money to level the playing field and ensure all get fair and equitable access to any future vaccines.

But we can do more.

Creating Communities is proud to have pledged our support for the #EndCOVIDForAll campaign organised by Micah Australia, the Australian Council for International Development and the Campaign for Australian Aid. We are aiming to create a surge of Australians showing solidarity for our global neighbours.

We hope that if enough Australians back this movement, this will encourage the Australian Government to partner with global institutions, non-government organisations and regional neighbours and increase its financial support to address the worst impacts of COVID-19 on the world’s most vulnerable nations and communities.

It’s what good neighbours do.

In many cases, it is as simple as providing soap and clean water to communities. But it is also about increasing our support for global health programs that work to prevent other communicable diseases, such as malaria, Ebola and polio. Health systems can be bolstered with the provision of COVID-19 testing kits, personal protective equipment and other medical supplies, as well as improving information campaigns about how to stay safe in a pandemic.

And in economic terms, our Government can do more to support Pacific workers who are in this country to help our industries, and provide low-cost loans for developing nations to finance vital health infrastructure.

We can all do something to raise the profile of the campaign. Start by signing the pledge here: www.endcovidforall.com

And show your support publicly by sharing this campaign to raise awareness of the issues and encourage our Government to commit vital support to vulnerable people in nations doing it much tougher than us. They need to know that even though our borders are closed for now, our hearts will never be.

Donna Shepherd
Managing Director