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Australia responds to escalating food crises in Africa

May 21, 2012

I announced on Friday, May 19, that Australia will contribute an additional $16 million in much needed food and emergency medical assistance to respond to two major escalating crises in Africa.

The money will assist millions of people affected by drought, local conflict, and the collapse of local markets.

The food crises in West Africa and South Sudan are escalating at an alarming rate.

In the Sahel region of West Africa, up to 16 million people are in need of assistance, including more than one million children at risk of malnutrition. This is a crippling humanitarian crisis which crosses eight national boundaries.

In South Sudan, as many as 4.7 million people — around half the population – will soon require urgent food supplies due to high local prices, poor harvests and local conflicts.

We must act now to prevent a large-scale loss of life.

That’s why we’re delivering an additional $16 million in aid — from food supplies like cereals, pulses and oils to immunisation, health screening and training for local medical staff.

The world has a responsibility to help the millions hit hard by the simple lack of food and medical aid.

$10 million will be provided to the Sahel through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Australian NGOs, including Oxfam, Save the Children, Plan International and CARE.

The NGOs will deliver food and nutrition supplements for an additional 300,000 people.

The funding will also support health worker recruitment and training, immunisation programs and screening, and treatment of children with malnutrition.

In South Sudan, a further $6 million will support the United Nations’ World Food Programme in feeding displaced people, including mothers and small children.

This increase in aid will bring Australia’s total humanitarian assistance to the current Sahel and South Sudanese food crises to $31 million since the beginning of 2012.

2 Comments
  1. Eugene permalink
    May 21, 2012 1:07 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree – this is a positive move. IMHO, it’s in the interests of Australia to contribute to a happier and thus more peaceful world.

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