Australia commits millions to fight humanitarian crises in Horn of Africa

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun22,2024
Key Points
  • Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong is set to announce a total of $29 million in aid to a number of countries.
  • $13 million of it will go towards the displaced Sudanese population, both within the country and surrounding areas.
  • Wong said Australia is “gravely concerned” by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa.
Australia is set to provide $29 million of aid to assist those affected by ongoing humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa region.
Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong will on Saturday announce the funding to address critical needs for those affected by conflicts and disasters in , and Kenya.
It will be used for healthcare, food, clean water, as well as services for children, separated families and survivors of gender-based violence.

The biggest portion of the money, $13 million will go towards vulnerable people in Sudan as well as Sudanese refugees displaced to the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.

A man pours grain from between his fingers from a large barrel.

Cereal production in Sudan has been severely affected by armed conflict in the country, which erupted in April 2023, pushing more people into hunger. Source: Getty / -/AFP

A war between rival generals vying for power broke out in Sudan in April 2023 and conflict has been ongoing since.

More than nine million Sudanese people have been displaced, with two million of them fleeing across borders.

The United Nations has said Sudan is on course to become the world’s worst hunger crisis with 17.7 million people facing high levels of acute food insecurity and almost five million people on the brink of starvation.

In Ethiopia, 4.5 million people have been internally displaced due to conflict, violence, drought and flooding. The country is also host to over one million refugees.
In Somalia, four million people — more than a fifth of the population — are experiencing acute food insecurity. Along with Kenya, the country has recently experienced flooding, exacerbated by the lingering effects of previous droughts.

Ethiopia and Somalia will each receive $6 million in financial support.

A woman walking through mud, between ramshackle dwellings.

Flooding in Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa has exacerbated existing humanitarian crises. Source: Getty / Hassan Ali Elmi

The government will also be providing $4 million to Kenya, to respond to the flooding and address food insecurity.

“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,” Wong said.
“We continue to advocate for political solutions to these conflicts and to call for safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian organisations.”
Assistance will be delivered through Australian and local non-government organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and UN partners.

Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tim Watts said “Australia is appalled by ongoing incidents of civilians being attacked, children being recruited to armed groups and gender-based violence increasing.”

Australia’s 2024/2025 foreign aid budget is $4.961 billion.
While it is $193 million more than the previous year, the Australian Council for International Development has said in real terms the nation’s international aid funding had remained “static.”
Upon release of the federal budget in May, the Council said it “was only enough to see the development budget flatline into the future” and that Australia needed to invest more in the basics of development.
“Australia’s aid budget is static in real terms while the Asia-Pacific region is way off track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” the council’s statement read.

Several organisations including Plan International have called for the government to increase its Humanitarian Emergency Fund, designed to respond to emergencies and crises such as Gaza, Sudan and Ukraine to be doubled to $300 million annually.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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