Stories

This is what Australian Aid looks like

In July 2011, the Horn of Africa was struck with a devastating drought. Millions of children were at risk of starvation, crops withered and the bodies of animals scattered the landscape.

ChildFund responded to this emergency by mobilising communities and providing emergency feeding, water and health care. These initiatives meant that affected families could remain in their communities, rather than being forced to leave home in search of food, making them stronger when the crisis was over.

Very young children, who are particularly vulnerable in an emergency, and pregnant or breastfeeding women were the focus of ChildFund Australia`s emergency response. From the onset of the drought, when food shortages were at their worst and the rains were nowhere in sight, ChildFund provided life-saving nourishment to 42,545 children under five and 9,186 pregnant or breastfeeding women.

We also assisted 20,866 older children and 2,263 women and men. Women like Beyenech (pictured above) from Ethiopia, a mother of four who was pregnant when the food crisis began. “My husband had to leave the area to look for work,” she told our staff. “We were alone. I was so worried my child would be born unhealthy.”

Beyenech received supplementary food and edible oil during the final stages of her pregnancy and regained enough strength to deliver her baby, whom she named Dagmawi. “After the feeding program I delivered a healthy baby boy. I`m so thankful,” she says.

An incredible 6,854 generous supporters responded to ChildFund Australia`s Horn of Africa Emergency Appeal, saving the lives of thousands of mums, dads and children. In total, $991,061 was donated by the Australian public to ChildFund`s appeal; of this, $417,489 was matched dollar for dollar by the Australian government`s aid program. These donations helped provide life-saving nourishment to 74,860 children, women and men.

ChildFund Australia`s emergency response would not have been possible without the support of Australian Aid. Unfortunately, our aid program is now under threat.

Last year, the government announced devastating cuts that will reduce Australia`s aid spending to the lowest level since records began in 1954. Treasurer Joe Hockey is expected to announce the first cut, of $1 billion, on Budget night (12 May).

If you believe these cuts are wrong, we urge you to stand up for Australian Aid:

  1. Join the movement to stand up for Australian Aid now
  2. Share this image on social media using #AustralianAid
  3. Interrupt Joe Hockey and use this online tool to email your local MP and Joe Hockey

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