22 September 2008
Australia Provides Humanitarian Relief for Ethiopia
Australia is deeply concerned about the food crisis in Ethiopia and will provide $10 million in humanitarian aid for communities adversely affected by severe drought.
Ethiopia is in the grip of a desperate food security crisis that has been compared to the country's 1984-85 famine which claimed an estimated one million lives.
Ethiopia's drought is threatening people already made vulnerable by conflict and the increased cost of food and fuel. An estimated 7.5 million people in Ethiopia now require urgent assistance.
Australia is committed to supporting long-term solutions which address the impacts of food insecurity.
Of the $10 million allocated, Australia will provide $5 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) for food aid and $4 million for UNICEF's relief operations, including addressing the nutrition, water and health needs of children and women.
The WFP and UNICEF are leading the response to the crisis, working closely with the Ethiopian Government to identify those most in need. They are also providing food and access to clean water and health services.
The WFP and UNICEF are well-established and effective partners in Ethiopia for the Australian aid program. Our funding to these agencies demonstrates our commitment to the vital roles they play in crises like the current Ethiopian drought.
We will also contribute $1 million to Australian Non-Government Organisations Oxfam, CARE and World Vision for projects which promote food security and assist communities to improve their resilience to the food crisis.
All of these NGOs have worked in Ethiopia for many years and have a strong track record in community development. Using this funding, Oxfam will work to ensure that over 100,000 people in the Shenile area have access to adequate water for themselves and their livestock. CARE will help farmers in East and West Hararghe to restock and replant after the drought, providing seed, tools and animal vaccinations, while World Vision will provide access to water and sanitation services.
This latest assistance package reflects Australia's goal to strengthen our engagement with Africa.
- Mr Smith's office 02 6277 7500
- Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555