Australia says it's given 2.1 million vaccines doses to the region

Australia's government says hundreds of thousands of jobs in the country rely on economic growth in the Pacific.

The Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja told parliament this was one of the reasons why assistance to the Pacific remains critical.

He said on pandemic response, Australia had fronted up with COVID-19 vaccines.

"We have now gifted over 2.1 million life-saving vaccines to our neighbourhood. Because until everyone is safe from COVID, nobody is safe.

"And similarly, hundreds of thousands of Australian jobs depend on strong economic growth across our region."

Seselja said in 2021 Australia has delivered US$1.2 billion in support to the Pacific

He said beyond the aid programme, Australia delivered over US$146-million US dollars in emergency economic support to the Pacific.

"In Fiji this funding is supporting social protection payments to the most vulnerable, benefitting more than 100-thousand Fijians.

"In Timor-Leste we are supporting new infrastructure projects in more than half the nation's 450 villages, directly benefitting communities and economic recovery.

"In Solomon Islands, we're improving water supply for more than 4000 households, and sanitation facilities for over 2000 households.

Seselja said Australia's efforts to roll out critical infrastructure support in the form of telecommunications, ports, roads, airports, energy generation and transmission, were projects that would unlock jobs and opportunities.