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COVID-19 Response

As the impact of COVID-19 was felt in Australia and around the world, we pivoted our operations to support a comprehensive, agile and multi-faceted Australian Government response—often in challenging local lockdown circumstances. DFAT’s global network and offices in every state and territory were vital to supporting Australians stranded overseas and helping thousands to return to Australia. Our international expertise helped deliver critical medical supplies for Australians and for our Indo-Pacific neighbours.

Supporting Australians overseas - Supported 26,000 Australian's return from 90 countries on 315 commercial flights-63 directly facilitated by government - Responded to 250,000+ COVID-19-related phone calls across the diplomatic network including 75,000+ to our emergency and consular call units - 26m+ likes, retweets, comments or chares of DFAT social media content during COVID-19 Supporting Australians at home - 300+ DFAT staff and contractors deployed across the APS to boost frontline government services - Led efforts to suspend Australian tariffs on products, such as medical devices and PPE - Diplomatic efforts in collaboration with other agencies helped to secure critical PPE and medical supplies including over 40% of all ventilators in Australian ICUs Supporting Australia's economy and businesses - Supported delivery of Australia’s economic recovery package through the $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund - Worked with Export Finance Australia to establish the $500, COVID-19 Export Capital Facility to ensure trade-exposed Australian businesses affected by COVID-19 can access fital financing Supporting our Indo-Pacific neighbours - $280m redirected to health security, stability and economic recovery in the Pacific and Southeast Asia - Supported the Australian Government’s visa changes to enable approximately 8,000 Pacific workers to remain in Australia for a further 12 months to continue working to support themselves and critical industries, including redeploying around 3,500 workers - Working with our neighbours in the Pacific and Timor-Leste, facilitated movements of over 2,000 people and 10 tonnes of essential supplies to 14 countries through the essential services and humanitarian corridor