End Covid For All Campaign: An Update from Tim Costello

Oct 7 2020

Your Voice is Helping to End COVID For All

I was so encouraged back at the beginning of August, when Pastors Brian and Bobbie lent their support to our #EndCOVIDForAll campaign.

They did this on the conviction that “…the vulnerable are always the most impacted in a crisis.”

They couldn’t be more right, a fact I can attest to myself, having spent my life trying to model Jesus’ teachings to come alongside the poor and marginalised to show them the love of God.

The goal of our campaign has been simple – to remind our leaders and each other that this crisis won’t end for anyone, until it ends for everyone.

To that end, regardless of which country you are reading this from, we must all encourage our governments to support not only their own citizens to get through COVID-19 but to also look to assist those most vulnerable in our world.

That might seem to you like something most nations would want to do. Sadly however, we are living in a time of such intense retribalization and rising nationalism, that the instinct for many political leaders is to appear only to be concerned with the narrower needs of their nation and its citizens.

Our campaign has looked to humbly but prophetically assert what COVID-19 has reminded us of biologically – that we are all connected, and so must work together to overcome this challenge.

That infection anywhere, is a threat to everyone everywhere.

Since starting our campaign – with the help of Hillsong and a coalition of over 200 other organisations including health institutions, NGOs, unions, schools, business and churches – over 24,000 people have joined our call to #EndCOVIDForAll.

Here in Australia – where this campaign has been focused – this has provided the encouragement our Government has needed to make a number of significant announcements in direct response to helping the world’s most vulnerable through this crisis.

Investments that as you will see, are not only morally right but smart too, as investing in the health and recovery of our neighbours lowers the risk of ongoing re-infection, and can speed up the global economic recovery.

Two examples of the difference you have made so far:

 1. A $60 million package to help South East Asia’s COVID-19 response

A big help for a region that is still in the grip of the pandemic. It’s a package of initiatives that will support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It includes: assistance in early detection of COVID-19 using Australian technology, funds for research on the specific needs of women and girls during the recovery, & help with the purchase of medical supplies and equipment.

We are welcoming news today of a $60 million package to help South East Asia COVID-19 Recovery. 🌏👏⠀This will be a big…

Posted by Micah Australia on Monday, September 14, 2020

 

2. Funding for the global COVAX facility* 

This is a global initiative that brings together governments and manufacturers to ensure eventual COVID-19 vaccines reach those in greatest need, whoever they are and wherever they live.

Professor Brendan Crabb AC, one of Australia’s leading infectious disease researchers, and a spokesperson for our campaign, explains why this funding is so vital:

 

Australia’s commitment to COVAX is in two parts. It has pledged $80 million to the COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines specifically for 92 lower income countries around the world. And $123 million to the overarching COVAX Facility, which while assisting the global initiative more broadly, also gives Australia access to the facility’s pool of vaccine candidates if required (i.e. in the case of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or University of Queensland/CSL vaccine agreements not delivering).

*We know the issue of vaccines is complex and raises lots of different questions and issues – so we have put together a ‘COVID-19 vaccine explainer and FAQ  for further information on why we believe vaccines are an important part of helping to end COVID for all.

I have been reminded throughout this campaign of Acts 15 – The Council in Jerusalem – when Paul puts forward the case of the Gentiles to the Jewish Christian leaders in Jerusalem.

They agree with his case, but they ask two things which Paul later recounts in Galatians, the first being ‘Remember the Poor.’

That’s what Christian faith is about – it remembers those the powerful may forget.  It remembers brothers and sisters in Africa, in South Asia, in South America, in those nations with fragile health systems and asks, ‘what can we do?’, ‘how can we keep them in our hearts?’.

We pray and believe that this campaign will be small step towards remembering them at this time.

Because as you show you care; this will encourage your government to provide vital support to vulnerable nations.

I encourage you to remember that the church does not exist just for self-maintenance. We exist for the benefit of the poor, the marginalised and the vulnerable. The task of ‘Ending COVID for All’ will take every sector working together, and will need the collective Church raising its voice to cast a vision that goes beyond all of our borders.

Thank you Hillsong as always, for being willing to lead the way in this.

Tim Costello
Director of Ethical Voice Pty Ltd
Executive Director of Micah Australia
Senior Fellow of Centre for Public Christianity 

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1. Sign the Pledge: Click here Our Government needs to know that Australian’s are supportive of our nation providing aid, ongoing health and educational campaigns and helping kickstart economic recovery in vulnerable countries.

2. Pray & share this link and these stories. The more support this campaign gets – the stronger the message to our leaders!!

3. Stay connected to all that’s happening through the #EndCovidForAll campaign! Leading Epidemiologist’s, professors, leading Universities, Medical Associations and Advocacy bodies are all on board.

Instagram: @endcovidforall

Twitter: @EndCovidForAll

Facebook: Micah Australia