A cross-parliamentary group of Australian Senators and Members of Parliament have arrived in Kenya to gain a firsthand perspective of global food security issues amidst the climate crisis.
The Hon Michael McCormack MP, Senator Claire Chandler, James Stevens MP, Matt Burnell MP, Senator Louise Pratt, Graham Perrett MP, and Tania Lawrence MP are spending six days in Kenya, including regions hardest hit by consecutive droughts.
The delegation will visit programs supported by organisations including Save the Children, the World Food Program, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Red Cross, Oxfam, The Global Fund, Unitaid, Fred Hollows Foundation, and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
The tour will allow parliamentarians to see the vital role these organisations play, not only in addressing the current global food crisis but also in striving for a long-term, sustainable, global approach to food security.
Save the Children Australia CEO Mat Tinkler said the visit was timely considering the unprecedented hunger crisis the world is currently facing.
“The climate crisis, the pandemic and conflict, including the war in Ukraine, have led to the worst hunger crisis the world has seen for many years,” he said.
“Four failed rainy seasons in the Horn of Africa have resulted in the worst drought in 40 years, with 942,000 children under the age of five acutely malnourished in Kenya alone.
“This visit will offer a valuable insight into the consequences of inaction and provide an opportunity to witness the scale of need in the region and the urgent nature of the crisis.”
The Australian Regional Leadership Initiative is a Save the Children Australia project, made possible by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Save the Children has delivered 11 learning tours since 2015, taking more than 50 Australian parliamentarians to experience Australian aid at work in Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Jordan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Solomon Islands, Cambodia, and Fiji.