This week, ACFID has led a delegation of a dozen CEOs and Executives to meet with MPs and Senators regarding Australia’s aid program. Representatives of the sector have met with approximately 30 politicians or their offices, across Labor, the Coalition, the Greens, independents and minor parties. The content of each meeting was tailored slightly to the interests and background of each MP or Senator, but key messages focused on the importance of Australia’s development program and humanitarian program, ACFID’s submission to the 2023 budget update, and the urgent food security crisis which is affecting many countries, especially Yemen, Syria, the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan and Myanmar. Our advocacy noted the potentially destabilizing effects of resource scarcity and the linkages between food insecurity and climate change. A private dinner was held on Monday 1 August for members of the Labor Caucus to educate them about the food security crisis and encourage further action by the Government.
This parliamentary engagement coincided with the launch of the Help Fight Famine campaign on Monday 1 August at Parliament House, which has been spearheaded by the Public Engagement and Campaigning Committee. The campaign is garnering widespread attention as many constituents take up the campaign’s call to write to MPs and Senators on this issue.
We also saw coverage across the country hitting more than 150 outlets including The Australian, Australian Financial Review, Canberra Times, The West Australian, Daily Telegraph, Courier Mail, Crikey, news.com.au and a number of regional mastheads including major dailies. Campaign spokesperson Mariam Veiszadeh spoke live on ABC News Breakfast TV, followed by news packages on SBS TV and SBS Radio.