The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement that it will contribute an additional $25 million in emergency assistance to help address food insecurity, saying that it represents Australia reasserting a desire to be a global player.
The sum brings to a total of $40 million this financial year that Australia is spending to help avert famine in the worst-affected countries and regions.
The announcement over the weekend included provisions for the Horn of Africa, war-torn Yemen and flood-affected Pakistan. The money is to be dispersed through the Red Cross, NGOs and the United Nations.
“We commend the Australian government for its generosity, particularly towards regions and countries far from Australian shores,” said Marc Purcell, ACFID CEO.
“In recent years there has been a shift towards spending our aid and development finances in our regional neighbourhood,” he said.
“This contribution shows a commitment by Australia to stepping up to being a good global citizen, and helping where the need is the greatest.”
The additional funds will go towards providing food, water and other essential support. The funds are aimed at providing relief to some of the 350 million people around the globe who are experiencing food insecurity, which is worsening due to conflict, climate change and other factors.
In September, the Government announced a package of $15 million in emergency assistance for the Horn of Africa and Yemen, delivered via the World Food Programme (WFP), and organisations comprising the Emergency Action Alliance.
In the same month, Australia also announced a total of $5 million in humanitarian aid to Pakistan, which was in the grips of severe flooding across a large swathe of the country.
The Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF) – its entire annual budget for humanitarian response – is $150 million in total. ACFID is calling on the government to double the HEF in the May budget.
You can read ACFID’s pre-budget submission here: ACFID-Pre-Budget-Submission-2023-24.pdf
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact [email protected] or call 0401 721 064.