Govt to Match Horn of Africa Donations ‘Dollar for Dollar’
Thursday, 6th October 2011 at 9:18 am
|Image: A woman holds her severely malnourished young child in a camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Mogadishu. Somalia is affected by a severe drought that has ravaged large swaths of the Horn of Africa, leaving an estimated 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Mogadishu, Somalia. UN Photo/Stuart Price. Some rights reserved by United Nations Photo|
The Federal Government has responded to the worsening humanitarian disaster in the Horn of Africa by announcing it will match donations by Australians dollar for dollar.
Without a sizeable increase in humanitarian aid, the UN estimates that 750,000 people could die over the next four months in the Horn of Africa – and a further 13 million drought-stricken people require urgent help.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd announced that the Federal Government will match money raised through Horn of Africa appeals by AusAID-accredited NGOs until the end of November.
Rudd says the organisations involved all have a proven track record and are already helping those affected by the famine.
The dollar for dollar scheme is capped at $10 million, with $1.5 million caps for each eligible Not for Profit organisation.
The dire situation in East Africa has been caused by a number of factors including drought, rising food prices, food shortages and conflict.
Australian NGOs currently working in the famine-stricken region – including World Vision, CARE Australia. Caritas Australia and Oxfam – have welcomed the Government’s announcement.
World Vision has been responding to the emergency since February this year, and the organisation says the famine continues to worsen with 3.3 million people in Somalia now in desperate need of lifesaving assistance.
World Vision says at least $218 million in new aid for the Horn of Africa was pledged late last month at a United Nations summit, however about $500 million is still needed to meet the overall humanitarian appeal for the Horn of Africa of $2.48 billion.
Jack de Groot, Caritas Australia CEO, says there is a great deal more that needs to be done or the situation could descend into a humanitarian catastrophe, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in a very long time.
Oxfam Australia Executive Director Andrew Hewett – who is in Kenya seeing Oxfam’s response first hand – says the situation is a tragedy beyond comprehension.
Hewitt says the number of people caught up in the emergency – and the level of need – is staggering, with more than half the population of Australia affected.
More information on the Horn of Africa Dollar For Dollar Appeal can be found at www.ausaid.gov.au
To donate to the Horn of Africa campaigns, visit the websites below: