Emergency Action Alliance welcomes $5m in government funding to Horn of Africa hunger crisis

Emergency Action Alliance

The Emergency Action Alliance (EAA) has welcomed the support of the Australian Government for its Hunger Crisis appeal for Horn of Africa, with the government announcing a $5 million contribution today.

Announced by the Hon. Pat Conroy, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the significant funding will support 15 Australian humanitarian aid charities that have united to launch an appeal for the escalating hunger crisis unfolding in the Horn of Africa. Some 20 million people are on the verge of starvation in the region, and the United Nations has recently warned that famine will take hold in Somalia before the end of the year.

EAA Executive Director Kerren Morris said the Alliance was grateful for the support of the Australian Government, which will help aid agencies provide life-saving aid on the ground.

“We welcome the support of the Australian Government through this $5 million contribution to the Horn of Africa hunger crisis, where conflict and skyrocketing food prices are severely affecting people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia,” Ms Morris said.

“The Australian government’s commitment to this crisis highlights how significant it is, and how dire the situation is in these countries.

“The funding will go directly to our trusted members who are on the ground providing urgent life-saving assistance including food, clean water, and health and nutrition services to communities facing extreme drought.”

Caritas Australia chief executive Kirsty Robertson said: “I’ve just returned from a visit to our partner, Caritas Ethiopia, where I saw communities already on the brink of starvation. I spoke at length with people who have lost all their crops and livestock and are forced to walk increasingly longer distances to find water. There are thousands upon thousands of families and communities all over the Horn of Africa, facing some of the worst conditions I have seen in over twenty years in this sector. There is no question – we must do more to stave off the impending humanitarian crisis before more lives are lost.”

Plan International Australia chief executive Susanne Legena said: “Where is the shock, where is the outrage and most importantly, where is the action? We are really at the tipping point for famine in many countries and if the world does not urgently step-up life-saving humanitarian assistance, we are going to see a lot of death. We have been fearing this situation for months. We now have a very brief window of time to save as many lives as possible. We urgently need more support from donors so that we can reach more children and their families before it’s too late.”

Australia for UNHCR chief executive Trudi Mitchell said: “What we are seeing unfolding in the Horn of Africa at the moment is largely a silent emergency. The stories I’m hearing from the ground are heartbreaking: families leaving their homes and walking hundreds of kilometres in search of water, food and shelter. With millions facing severe hunger across the region, we are calling for urgent support to help displaced people and local host communities.”

The Emergency Action Alliance encourages Australians to support the appeal by donating online at www.emergencyaction.org.au/hunger-crisis.

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