By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has announced an additional $19.3 million in support for the provision of emergency food, healthcare, water and sanitation to people in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya.
Minister for Foreign Affaires, Julie Bishop MP, stated in a statement that the amount is to provide further assistance to the millions of people across Africa forced from their homes, with more than 10 million estimated to be on the verge of starvation due to ongoing conflict and widespread drought.
This new funding, the Australian government said, will bring its contribution towards the international response to conflict, drought and famine in Africa to approximately $68 million since July 2016.
More than 5.8 million people in South Sudan are in need of assistance due to conflict and acute food shortages. Australia will provide support through the International Committee of the Red Cross and the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund to help meet the food, health and protection needs of these people, the Minister said.
Australia’s funding to Uganda and Ethiopia will help these countries work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to meet the humanitarian needs of more than 800,000 South Sudanese refugees and others fleeing conflict in the region. Our funding will also support longer term education and livelihood opportunities for refugees and their host communities.
“Our assistance will also help the World Food Programme and Red Cross meet the needs of over 7 million people at risk of starvation in northeast Nigeria due to ongoing conflict and drought, including 1.4 million acutely malnourished children.
“In Kenya, Australia’s funding through UNICEF will help to address the food and water needs of more than 2.7 million people who are affected by drought and have fled conflict in neighbouring countries.
“This new package of assistance supplements Australia’s regular funding to United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and humanitarian organisations to respond to humanitarian crises globally, including in Africa,” the statement explained.
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