Australian support is saving lives as Pacific neighbours struggle with a more virulent and deadly pandemic.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne updated parliament on Wednesday after virtual talks with ASEAN ministers as well as calls to the Cook Island Prime Minister Mark Brown and Tuvalu Foreign Minister Simon Kofe.
Last week, she spoke to Pacific Island Forum ministers, with Fiji in the grip of a deadly COVID-19 outbreak that has overwhelmed local hospitals.
"Our assistance through these partnerships is genuinely saving lives and genuinely stemming very lethal outbreaks," the minister told the Senate.
She has discussed the health and economic challenges brought on by COVID-19 in Southeast Asia and the common goal of respect for international law as China expands its Pacific foreign aid.
Along with emergency support in the Pacific, broader health security support is underway through medicine testing and reproductive health and mental health programs.
"It's fair to say our region faces an unprecedented economic shock from COVID-19," Senator Payne said.
Budget support of more than $80 million has gone to Fiji, for welfare payments to families as that nation's death toll tops 250.
Ambulances, oxygen equipment, stretcher beds, personal protective equipment and machines to boost community testing have also been provided to Fiji.
Australia is providing $100 million through the Quad vaccine partnership with the United States, Japan and India.
The federal government has also pledged to share up to 15 million vaccine doses with the Pacific and Timor-Leste by mid-2022.
Australian Associated Press