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Humanitarian preparedness and response

Humanitarian support for crises in Africa

23 July 2019

Numerous countries in Africa are facing conflict, drought, food shortages and widespread displacement. The UN reports that 237 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are suffering from chronic undernutrition and this threatens to derail gains made in the past (February 2019).

In 2018-19, Australia provided $24 million to support international relief efforts in southern Africa, Somalia and South Sudan.

  • $10.5 million to provide emergency food, health services and protecting the human rights and safety of affected communities in South Sudan.
  • $10.5 million to provide food, health services, water sanitation and hygiene and livelihoods support to communities in Somalia
  • $2.5 million in support to countries impacted by Cyclone Idai
  • $0.5m to support the World Health Organisation's Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In addition:

  • $21 million of Australia's core funding to the World Food Programme for 2018-19 was allocated to 13 countries in Africa.

Video: WFP's activities in Somalia

In 2017-18 Australia provided $36.45 million to support international relief efforts in South Sudan and Somalia:

  • $20 million to provide emergency food, health services and protecting the human rights and safety of affected communities particularly women and girls in South Sudan.
  • $16.45 million to provide food, health services, water sanitation and hygiene and livelihoods support to communities in Somalia

In addition:

  • Almost $25 million of Australia's core funding to the World Food Programme for 2017-18 was allocated to countries in Africa.
  • $5 million of Australia's core funding to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for 2017-18 was allocated to the South Sudan Regional Refugee Response.

Through Australian Government funding, Oxfam is providing canoes to displaced communities in South Sudan to enable them to obtain food distributions and medical treatment. Credit: Oxfam/Dylan Quinnell

The Australian Government is funding World Vision feeding centres in South Sudan, which have screened thousands of children and pregnant and lactating women for malnutrition. Credit: World Vision

The World Food Programme's rapid response activities provides life-saving relief in priority areas throughout South Sudan. Credit: WFP/Challiss McDonough

Core funding

Australia also provides annual core funding to trusted international humanitarian partners. This funding allows our partners to prioritise the most urgent humanitarian needs globally. For example, $21 million of Australia's 2018-19 core funding to the World Food Programme was allocated to 13 countries in Africa.

Australia's partners include:

  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  • Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • World Food Programme (WFP)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Somalia Resilience Program
  • World Vision and Oxfam

More information


A woman collects food for her daughter from a nutrition centre in Juba, South Sudan. Credit: WFP/George Fominyen

The World Food Programme delivered more than 200 tonnes of supplies to Leer town, South Sudan, in March 2017 to reach people who are suffering from famine-like conditions. Credit: WFP/George Fominyen
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