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In 2020 we gave more than 6.4 million people food aid during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year we aim to support 2.4 million people with our response to the hunger crisis in East Africa. But we cannot battle the looming hunger crisis alone.
So, through this petition, we are calling on the Australian Government to show leadership and join our response by providing a one-off, additional $150 million food aid package to avert famine and build resilience against hunger – particularly in the world’s conflict hotspots.
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The world is on the brink of the most devastating hunger crisis in decades.
If we don’t act now, our worst fears about the aftershocks of COVID-19 will be realised - famine! This means people will die simply because they can’t get enough food.
More than 41 million people - about half of them children - across 36 countries are one step away from starvation. This is due to the combined effects of protracted conflict and COVID-19. It's a humanitarian catastrophe without precedent in the 21st century.
The living hell for many refugees, torn from their homes by war and languishing in camps for years, just got worse. COVID-19 has intensified these challenges. Famine also endangers children's safety, learning and wellbeing. And it has devastating consequences for children's long-term physical and mental development.
Four nations - South Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen and Madagascar - are experiencing famine-like conditions. Nigeria and Burkina Faso have pockets where there are famine-like conditions. And parts of Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Venezuela and Lebanon are experiencing serious food insecurity.
We must unite so we don’t see the mass deaths from famine that we saw in Ethiopia in the mid-80s – the "biblical famine" that awakened many of us to the fact that starvation was killing people.
Famine means there’s an extreme shortage of food. It results in many deaths, either due to starvation or a combination of malnutrition and disease. Famine was most recently declared in 2017 in South Sudan, and also in Somalia in 2011.
Famine is officially declared in an area when: