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Australia boosts funding for famine relief

The government will commit an additional $29 million to respond to the growing crisis in Africa and the Middle East.

Australia will provide a $29 million funding boost to help tackle the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa and Middle East. 

The government will contribute the aid from the Humanitarian Emergency Fund to partner organisations. 

This includes $15 million for people in drought-affected areas in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, $4 million for food support in Yemen, and $10 million for food and monetary help for refugees and other vulnerable people in Lebanon and Jordan.

The package is in addition to a previously announced $6 million commitment to help people impacted by the conflict in Sudan.

The number of people at risk of food insecurity has soared to 350 million globally since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said conflict and climate change were driving unprecedented levels of humanitarian need. 

"Australia is using all elements of our national power to shape the world for the better, including by providing humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable," she said.

Help Fight Famine campaign spokesman Reverend Tim Costello said Australia's combined commitments had now made a "decent contribution" to the global famine response. 

"Australian efforts will alleviate suffering and prevent deaths," he said.

"Of course with more we can do more. We fully acknowledge Australia's efforts and will continue making the case for Australia to invest in creating a stronger, safer world for all."

International Development Minister Pat Conroy said we were seeing the "largest global food crisis in modern history".

"Australia is making an important contribution to the humanitarian response in partnership with other countries and international organisations," he said.

Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Tim Watts said the government's package was part of a broader effort to address the causes of food insecurity and displacement.

According to the World Food Programme, 90 per cent of the Somalian population are experiencing insufficient food consumption.


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