Sector Welcomes Much Needed Boost to Humanitarian Aid
19 June 2017 at 3:56 pm
Australia’s leading international humanitarian organisations have received a much needed boost to better prepare for, and respond to, humanitarian crises across the Pacific and the world.
Under the newly formed Australian Humanitarian Program (AHP), announced on Friday, six NGOs will receive $50 million over five years from the federal government to boost local capacity for disaster preparedness and response.
The money, provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs, will go to CARE Australia, Caritas Australia, Oxfam Australia, Plan International Australia, Save the Children Australia and World Vision Australia under the AHP.
Oxfam Australia’s chief executive Dr Helen Szoke said the funding boost “came at a time of great global need with millions of people suffering from wars, droughts and severe food shortages”.
“An astounding 30 million people are hungry across South Sudan – which I recently visited – East Africa, Nigeria and Yemen and 65 million people have been forced from their homes by wars and persecution and are seeking safety,” Szoke said.
“Across our own region, the Pacific, we are seeing the devastating effects of climate change as our neighbours are hit by rising sea levels and stronger cyclones.”
Szoke said on a trip to South Sudan she had seen how successful Australian aid can be when it is used to support and develop the work of local people to improve their own lives.
“Importantly, this funding and the partnership also represents a substantial shift towards not just responding to disasters but also making vital long-term investments in disaster preparedness and prevention, so that our region itself is better able to manage disasters,” she said.
Szoke welcomed the funding and said the predictable nature of the funding over the next five years would assist organisations in implementing a long-term strategy.
“It will allow organisations to plan long-term approaches and form strong and ongoing relationships with communities across the Pacific and the world,” she said.