Humanitarian program in Africa

How we are helping

Australia’s aid program in Africa responds appropriately to humanitarian crises by working with trusted humanitarian partners and supporting advocacy efforts for effective international humanitarian action.

Why we give humanitarian aid

Natural disasters, conflict, and economic shocks (such as food and fuel price spikes) severely undermine growth, reverse hard-won development gains and increase poverty and insecurity. Women are often also at heightened risk of violence during crises.

In reducing risks from, preparing for and responding to crises Australia’s humanitarian action saves lives, builds resilience and helps people overcome poverty.

Humanitarian needs in Africa are vast. Humanitarian crises generally involve the mass displacement of people and widespread loss of life and livelihoods as a result of conflict and natural disaster, significantly affecting the ability of communities to recover and build resilience to future shocks.

Aim of Australia’s humanitarian program in Africa

The broad goal of Australia’s humanitarian assistance is to save lives, alleviate suffering and enhance the dignity of people faced with violent conflict, natural disasters and other humanitarian crises in Africa.

Australia's humanitarian response will be consistent with the expectations of the Australian public, the scale of humanitarian need and our reputation as an active contributor to the UN and other multilateral institutions. Building on Australia’s experience and assistance to date, the humanitarian program in Africa will pay particular attention to the crises in South Sudan and Somalia. These are large-scale, complex, protracted crises that have been priorities for Australian humanitarian assistance over a number of years.

Allocation of our funds

The Foreign Policy White Paper points to the Australian Government’s increased commitment to humanitarian action investing in strategic, multi-year assistance packages for countries experiencing protracted crisis. Australia continues to be responsive to Africa’s humanitarian needs. DFAT monitors and responds to humanitarian situations based on the needs of people affected, the situation on the ground and our capacity to respond.

In 2018-19, Australia provided $24 million in humanitarian funding in response to ongoing crises in Somalia and South Sudan and Cyclone Idai in southern Africa. In addition to this,  $21 million of Australia’s 2018-19 core funding to the World Food Programme was allocated to 13 African countries.

In 2017-18, Australia provided $36.45 million in humanitarian funding to crises in Somalia and South Sudan. In addition to this, almost $25 million of Australia’s 2017-18 core funding to the World Food Programme was allocated to nine African countries bringing Australia’s total humanitarian contribution to Africa to over $66 million in 2017-18. For details please visit the Humanitarian support for crises in Africa page.

Last Updated: 18 October 2019