OXFAM welcomed today’s launch of the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and the Government’s long-term funding commitment.
At the launch event, held at the Australian Aid warehouse in Brisbane, Minister Bishop announced a five-year $50 million commitment to support humanitarian efforts through six trusted Australian humanitarian organisations and partners, including Oxfam. The aid will primarily be focused on the Pacific.
Oxfam Australia’s Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said it 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,” Dr 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.
“But, on my recent trip to South Sudan, I saw how successful Australian aid can be when it supports the work of local people to improve their own lives.
“It is the Australian Humanitarian Partnership that will position Australia and Australian organisations to respond to humanitarian crises and natural disaster both globally and closer to home in the Pacific.
“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.”
The Partnership will build upon past successes the humanitarian sector has had in partnership with the Australian Government and includes six lead organisations – CARE, Caritas, Plan, Oxfam, Save the Children and World Vision – and their consortium partners.
Over the past few years, the Australian Government has made significant grants to fund successful humanitarian responses throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
“Furthermore, the long-term predictable nature of the funding is particularly significant, and is part of Australia’s efforts to deliver on commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit,” Dr Szoke said.
“It will allow organisations to plan long-term approaches and form strong and ongoing relationships with communities across the Pacific and the world.”