Lee asks Mr Exell from the Development Policy Division in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to clarify the budget allocation for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for the current financial year and also 2016-17.
Senator RHIANNON: I want to move on to issues to do with the Global Poverty Project. Can you confirm that at least $15 million will be allocated to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for 2015-16?
Mr Exell: Yes, I can confirm that GPEI will receive an allocation of-and I will check this if I have got it wrong-$16 million in the current financial year.
Senator RHIANNON: I was after the current financial year and also 2016-17.
Mr Exell: Correct. Actually it is $18 million, for a total of $36 million. My notes say that will be done in 2015-16 through to 2018-19, but I do understand that an amount of $50 million was provided for the 2015-16 year.
Senator RHIANNON: I missed that. How much for 2015-16?
Mr Exell: Let me go back a step. The commitment is for a total of $36 million over a period of 2015-16 through to 2018-19. This will be front loaded to support immediate targeted polio eradication activities. Fifteen million dollars was provided to GPEI for 2015-16, and another $15 million will be provided in 2016-17, leaving the difference to be provided after that.
Senator RHIANNON: So two lots of $15 million taking us up to $36 million all up.
Mr Exell: Two lots of $15 million to $30 million, and then an additional $6 million after 2016-17.
Senator RHIANNON: And that is what has been confirmed in that correspondence that we read about between DFAT and who?
Mr Exell: I would have to take on notice who that correspondent was specifically, but, yes, those are the confirmed amounts.
Senator RHIANNON: Can you confirm that there will be no further cuts to the GPEI, particularly considering the Prime Minister has expressed support for polio eradication at the CHOGM meeting?
Mr Exell: Those are the current funding allocations.
Senator RHIANNON: So there is no indication that the current funding allocations are going to be cut. That is what you are working with at the moment?
Mr Exell: Correct.
Senator RHIANNON: Good. I understand that there is also another $36 million that has been allocated to the World Bank to support strengthening routine immunisations in South-East Asia. Is that correct?
Mr Exell: That is correct.
Senator RHIANNON: Will this also be used to support the introduction of inactivated polio vaccine into the region, and is this also part of the GPEI budget?
Mr Exell: It is not specifically part of the GPEI budget, but it is part of our overall support to ensure the globe, and indeed our region, is able to eradicate, in essence, polio. Again, I am not sure it will specifically support injectable IPV, but the issue is to support ongoing immunisation systems across the region. Those systems specifically support the country's own ability to maintain immunisation systems and financing.
Senator RHIANNON: When we are looking at your overall budget, does this come out of the allocation to the World Bank or out of the allocation to the GPEI for those multilateral groups?
Mr Exell: I would have to go back, check and take that on notice. It comes out of, in essence, the global health budgets that sit within my division. I could not answer as to whether it comes out of the multilateral or World Bank. We will take that one on notice.
Mr McDonald: Yes, I think it does.
Senator RHIANNON: Thanks.