Australian aid package for African humanitarian crises

Savannah Meacham |

Australia will send $13 million to vulnerable people in Sudan and displaced Sudanese refugees.
Australia will send $13 million to vulnerable people in Sudan and displaced Sudanese refugees.

The federal government has announced $23 million to support humanitarian needs in the Horn of Africa region amid multiple conflicts and climate change-related disasters.

The funding will go towards addressing critical needs like healthcare, food and clean water for vulnerable people including children, separated families and survivors of gender-based violence.

“Australia is gravely concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa and is working with international partners to help the most vulnerable and address instability in the region,” Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said in a statement on Saturday.

The breakdown of the aid package includes $13 million to vulnerable people in Sudan and Sudanese refugees who have displaced to other parts of Africa.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong (file)
Penny Wong says Australia is working with international partners to help the most vulnerable. (Asanka Ratnayake/AAP PHOTOS)

Since the outbreak of the Sudanese conflict a year ago, more than two million people have fled to other nations and seven million are internally displaced.

The country is on the path towards the world’s worst hunger crisis with 17 million facing food insecurity, the Australian government said.

There is $6 million for Ethiopia to support the four million people displaced there due to conflict, violence, drought and flooding.

Another $6 million will also be provided to Somalia as residents face acute food insecurity, and $4 million will go to Kenya to
help with recovery efforts after recent flooding.

“We continue to advocate for political solutions to these conflicts and to call for safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian organisations,” Ms Wong said.

The Australian Council for International Development welcomed Saturday’s multi-million dollar initiative.

“ACFID welcomes the Australian government’s life saving aid package for people without shelter, food, clean water or basic healthcare,” humanitarian advisor Naomi Brooks said.

Old Kijabe Dam burst its banks in the Rift Valley
A dam burst caused flash floods in the Rift Valley region of Kenya in April. (EPA PHOTO)

Ms Brooks said the additional funding would provide life essentials through Australian and local non-government organisations currently in the Horn of Africa responding to the crises.

The Sudanese Australian Advocacy Network also endorsed the announcement as the conflict makes accessing humanitarian aid life-threatening.

“Nowhere is safe from the fighting and access to humanitarian aid has become a matter of life or death,” co-founder and president Amad Mohamed said.

“Aid from countries like Australia is crucial to saving lives.”