14 Aug 2017

Australia to fund new initiatives in Pacific

9:23 am on 14 August 2017

Australia's foreign minister has announced US$8.6 million for two new initiatives to combat disease and improve nutrition in the Pacific.

Julie Bishop said US$6 million would go towards a pilot programme by researchers targetting mosquito-borne diseases in Fiji, Vanuatu and Kiribati.

The programme uses naturally occurring Wolbachia, a common insect bacteria, to stop mosquitoes from transmitting diseases like dengue, zika and chikungunya to humans.

The rest of the money would go towards initiatives to improve nutrition in the Pacific, such as increasing local production and public health communication.