The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and its members have today welcomed news that the Australian Government has committed an additional $20m to Somalia and South Sudan for food and life-saving support.
While famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan – where five million people are in urgent need of food and assistance – food shortages driven by conflict and drought have left Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya on the brink of famine.
ACFID CEO, Marc Purcell said: “The funding announced today by the Australian Government is very welcome and will help avert an even greater humanitarian crisis from developing. Australia’s humanitarian agencies stand ready to rapidly scale-up assistance to those in need. Without an immediate international response, millions of people across East Africa will be at risk of starvation by August.”
“The Australian Government’s funding commitments, combined with the generous support of the Australian people, means we can continue to respond to humanitarian crises like this.”
ACFID and its members have also highlighted the need to look at long-term solutions for food shortages.
Marc Purcell continued: “To eradicate famine, we must address the underlying causes and act early in the face of warning signs. Ongoing conflict, frequent draughts, a lack of infrastructure and crippling poverty mean we could face this scenario again. Breaking the cycle of food insecurity requires the international community acting collectively to implement preventative long-term measures.”
For further information, please contact Tim Watkin at [email protected] or on 0401 721 064.