It comes ahead of a predicted sixth consecutive failed rainy season in the Horn of Africa, where hunger – supercharged by a combination of conflict, Covid and climate change-fuelled drought – is affecting an estimated 36 million people.
In conflict-affected Yemen, 10 million children are struggling to find enough food to eat, while millions more in Pakistan are facing chronic hunger months after last year’s devastating flood emergency.
The announcement takes recent Australian Government funding commitments to these regions to $45 million, and comes after seven Australian MPs who travelled to Kenya with Save the Children in December last year called for action to address the impacts of drought on communities.
While on the tour, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the cross-parliamentary delegation visited programs providing life-saving aid to those in need and working to strengthen long-term food security.
“It is heartening to see that the Australian Government will contribute an additional $25 million to fight the global hunger crisis in countries where this assistance is badly needed,” Save the Children Australia CEO Mat Tinkler said.
“The situation in the Horn of Africa, Yemen and Pakistan is desperate. In the worst-hit areas, children are dying every day from preventable causes.
“The Australian parliamentarians who travelled to Kenya with Save the Children in December have been champions for immediate action, and the government has listened.
“The Australian Government’s commitment to addressing food insecurity in hunger hot spots is commendable. This funding will have tangible, real-world impacts and help save children’s lives.
“Sustaining these efforts over the coming months will be critical, as we know the global hunger crisis extends to countries such as Afghanistan and Syria, which are experiencing complex and growing needs.”
Save the Children has previously called on the Australian Government to provide $150 million in emergency relief to the world’s worst-affected hunger hot spots and a further $200 million annually over three years to implement a long-term strategy that addresses the root causes of food insecurity worldwide.
Save the Children is working across countries including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria to address immediate needs of children and families who are experiencing hunger.
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