Humanitarian support for crises in Africa

11 October 2017

Numerous countries in Africa are facing conflict, drought, food shortages and widespread displacement. The UN estimates millions of people are on the verge of starvation in Southern and Eastern Africa.

In September 2017, Australia provided $20 million to support international relief efforts in Somalia and South Sudan. This is in addition to the $19.3 million of humanitarian assistance provided to South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya in May 2017.

In 2016-17, Australia provided a total of over $68 million in response to the worsening crises in Africa. This included Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Swaziland Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Video: WFP's activities in Somalia

Australia's humanitarian funding to Africa in 2016-17 included:

  • $29 million to provide emergency food, health services and protection to affected communities in South Sudan, including to assist South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia and Uganda
  • $17 million to provide food, health services, water sanitation and hygiene and livelihoods support to communities in Somalia
  • $10 million to provide food and health assistance to communities affected by conflict and food shortages in the Lake Chad Basin region (including Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria)
  • $10 million to provide life-saving food and nutrition to countries affected by El Niño in South Africa, including Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe
  • $2.4 million to respond to the emerging drought in Kenya

In addition, $25.9 million of Australia's core funding to the World Food Programme for 2016-17 was allocated to countries in Africa.

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, over $24 million of Australia's core funding to the World Food Programme for 2017-18 was allocated to 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


Last Updated: 12 October 2017
Displaced people from the regions of Bay and Bakool gather at the town of Dolow Somalia to receive assistance from the World Food Programme. Credit WFP/K Prinsloo
Emergency supplies, such as high energy biscuits, are being stockpiled in Somalia to help people suffering from or at risk of malnutrition. Credit WFP/K Prinsloo