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International aid peak body welcomes Gaza funding; continues to call for permanent ceasefire

Jan 17, 2024 | Media Releases

 

Australia’s peak body for international aid and humanitarian assistance welcomes the Government’s announcement of $21.5 million in urgent humanitarian assistance for those affected by the conflict in Gaza. 

 

The amount includes $4 million to the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and $6 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA). A further $11.5 million will go to refugee organisations in Lebanon and Jordan.  

 

The majority of the funding comes from the Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF), which consists of $150 million per year, that is set aside for humanitarian emergencies, including natural disasters, conflicts and famines. 

 

At the same time, the scale of the crisis means that far more money is needed to help bring relief to the 1.9 million Gazans and other Palestinians who have been displaced, and the many thousands injured or maimed.  

 

A number of ACFID member organisations are currently working on the ground in the region to deliver life-saving aid. 

 

“The work of Australian NGOs delivering humanitarian assistance in Gaza and the West Bank is being generously supported by the Australian public,” said Acting Chief Executive Officer Jessica Mackenzie. 

 

“All funding to date for this crisis is of vital importance. We hope the Government will consider future opportunities to support NGOs who are delivering lifesaving assistance in Gaza and the wider region.” 

 

Further information on how the public can donate safely and effectively in a humanitarian crisis is available on ACFID’s website – Donating in a humanitarian crisis: what donors should know – ACFID.  

 

ACFID also notes the Foreign Minister’s language on an end to hostilities in calling for “humanitarian pauses.” The organisation has repeatedly called on the Australian Government to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. 

 

“A ceasefire is the only way forward now, to protect the lives and wellbeing of millions of people,” said Ms Mackenzie. 

 

This crisis also highlights the great need in the world for the overall pot of humanitarian funding to be increased. 

 

The aid and humanitarian sector has long been calling for the HEF to be doubled to $300 million per year, to accurately reflect the growing number and scale of disasters each year, in our immediate region and beyond. 

 

The Australian Government committed $25 million to the Gaza crisis last year, bringing the total funds to more than $46 million. 

 

Gaza figures at a glance: 

24,000 people killed 

1.9 million people displaced 

61,000 injured 

 69,000 destroyed housing units 

2.2 million people at immediate risk of famine 

Almost 400,000 people at catastrophic level of hunger 

Access to water severely compromised 

Source: UNOCHA. More here: Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel – reported impact, 15 January 2024 at 23:59 | OCHA (unocha.org) 

 

 

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact [email protected] or call 0401721064. 

 

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