food aid
food aid

Aid agencies have urged the Australian government to increase its foreign aid contributions amid fears that a famine could kill thousands in North Africa and the Middle East.

food aid
food aid
Reports revealed on Friday that the federal government had cut more than 1 billion Australian dollars (770 million U.S. dollars) from the foreign aid budget since 2015, prompting aid agencies to appeal to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to help.

Australia’s aid budget is at its lowest level in eight years, at just 0.2 percent of gross national income (GNI).

World Vision Australia’s Tim Costello described the situation in the Middle East and part of Africa as “horrifying,” and said the government should do more to help people avoid starvation.

“When you hear 20 million people at the risk of starvation, it’s a statistic,” Costello told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Friday.

“When you look into the face of a malnourished child it literally devastates you. Your gut absolutely is turned. I’m really quite personally shocked about this warning because it does feel like 1984 Ethiopia all over again.”

“This is not who we are. I know Australians would be saying we can do better. We should be increasing aid.”

Meanwhile Oxfam Australia’s Helen Szoke said the government needed to immediately allocate aid money to the area, as children and families were starving horribly.

“From our perspective, the humanitarian response needs to go where there is the greatest need,” Szoke said.

“We have indicated our view to (Australia’s) Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the (Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, (but) you would have to ask them about their own prioritization.”

According to the ABC, Bishop said any decision regarding Australia’s foreign aid contributions would be made via normal budget processes. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


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