$29m aid package for crises in the Horn of Africa desperately needed says Caritas Australia

Dignity kits distribution by CAFOD in Sudan. Photo CAFOD

The Australian government has announced a 23-million-dollar funding package to help deliver healthcare, food, and clean water amid ongoing humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa.  

The aid package includes:  

  • $13 million to assist vulnerable people in Sudan and Sudanese refugees displaced to the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.  
  • $12 million to be split equally between Ethiopia and Somalia to support people affected by crises. 
  • $4 million for Kenya to respond to flooding and address food insecurity. 

Assistance will be delivered through Australian and local NGOs, the International Committee of the Red Cross and UN partners. 

The announcement was made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong, alongside Minister for International Development and The Pacific, the Hon Pat Conroy MP and Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Tim Watts MP. 

It is a response to severe humanitarian crises across the Horn of African region. In Sudan attacks on civilians, including children, as well as widespread reports of severe sexual violence has resulted in 2 million fleeing across borders, and 7.1 million fleeing within Sudan itself. 17.7 million people are now on the brink of starvation. 

Following a UN Human Rights Council session on the situation in Sudan last week, Caritas Internationalis, the World Council of Churches and Jesuit Refugee Service said in a joint statement; “The displacement crisis, both within Sudan and neighboring countries, has reached untenable levels. Without an immediate injection of funds, the capacity of neighboring countries to respond will soon reach a breaking point.”  

Meanwhile, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya continue to shoulder the burdens of climate impacts, with drought and flooding leading to severe food insecurity across all three nations. Ethiopia is home to 1 million refugees, while Kenya houses 800,000, further compounding food insecurity. 

The Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs, said; “Australia is gravely concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa and is working with international partners to help the most vulnerable and address instability in the region. We continue to advocate for political solutions to these conflicts and to call for safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian organisations.” 

The Horn of Africa remains one of the most vulnerable places in the world, facing converging conflict, climate, and economic challenges, leading to mass displacement and food insecurity. Caritas Australia’s Africa Food Crisis Appeal supports humanitarian programs in Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.