Save the Children welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement of an additional $29 million in humanitarian funding to support communities suffering from the combined impact of conflict, the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic in the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and Yemen.
The funding will be critical in providing life-saving food relief to families facing the brunt of the global hunger crisis, including in the Horn of Africa, where 43 million people were hit by one of the worst droughts in recent history, as well as ongoing conflict and surging food prices.
It will also help support more than a million refugees in Lebanon and Jordan who are living below the poverty line and experiencing food insecurity, while alleviating the suffering of millions of children in Yemen, which is gripped by a humanitarian crisis.
A Save the Children analysis in December 2022 found the number of people facing severe levels of hunger had surged by almost 57% to 25.3 million from 16.1 million since 2019 in the eight worst affected countries.
Save the Children CEO Mat Tinkler said that Australia’s commitment would save the lives of children living in incredibly challenging contexts, including areas experiencing conflict and famine-like conditions.
“The number of people going hungry around the world has been skyrocketing and, tragically, children are dying every day in the worst-hit areas,” he said.
“Economic decline and displacement are also putting more children at greater risk of dropping out of school or being forced into child labour, which poses major risks to their safety and wellbeing.
“This humanitarian commitment from the Federal Government is significant and sends a strong message that Australia is willing and able to alleviate suffering far from its own backyard.
“Unfortunately, we are still seeing unprecedented levels of hunger and the emergency is far from over. Additional resources are needed to ensure that the threat of famine no longer looms and that every child, regardless of where they live, has access to the basics – food, water, shelter, healthcare and education.”
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, Lebanon, and Jordan to address immediate needs of children and families.
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