Red Cross and local Somali community join forces to appeal for action on hunger crisis

25 November 2022

With more than 146 million people in Africa suffering acute food insecurity, Red Cross and a Brisbane Somali community leader have today appealed for more to be done to address the crisis.

“People might think they are used to seeing shocking food shortages in Africa, but this crisis is different,” said Red Cross State Manager, Migration Support Services, Elijah Buol.

“African communities are facing multiple shocks, fuelled by climate-related drought and the crisis in Ukraine restricting access to food. Women and children have been hit hardest by what is the worst crisis in decades in many countries.”

The President of Somali Community Association of Queensland Inc, Faysel Ahmed Selat said the devastating impacts of the crisis in the Horn of Africa are also being felt here in Australia.

“When you see your loved ones suffering with hunger all you do is to support them at any cost,” he said.

“The Somali community in Australia are deeply distressed by what’s happening with their loved ones back home. Many are going without and sending money to family members who would otherwise have nothing. We urge people to urgently support the response efforts on the ground, including Australian Red Cross’s Hunger Appeal which is focused on the Horn of Africa.

“The current hunger crisis in Somalia is so dire and requires urgent humanitarian action. Children, women and the most vulnerable people are dying for hunger in Somalia. The Somali Australian community asks the world leaders, particularly Australian leaders to address this crisis. If we don’t act now, then when?”

Mr Buol said Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies are present in every country in the Horn of Africa. Their teams have long been on the ground, in some of the hardest to reach communities.

“Our added value lies on our unparalleled community reach and expertise,” he said. “Each National Society has established a long-standing presence in the community where it operates and has earned the trust of community members.

“In Australia, when I talk to people and they hear about this long-running crisis, they always want to know how to help. One of the best things they can do is donate, so the funds can be spent on the ground.

“An emergency response alone will not end of the cycle of hunger in Africa. That’s why we’re also advocating for the root causes of famine to be tackled. We’ve added our voice to the Help Fight Famine campaign which calls on the Australian Government to commit to a famine prevention package of $150 million, and to invest in a long-term global food security strategy.”

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