Kenya + 5 more

Australia to provide food security program in Africa

Australia will provide $10 million for projects to improve food security in Southern Africa, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Chris Gallus, MP, announced today.

The projects will be carried out through Australian non-government organisations over the next three years.

Mrs Gallus said this was in addition to the $2.5 million announced earlier this month for an emergency feeding program in central and Southern Mozambique and $2 million announced in March for emergency drought assistance in Zimbabwe.

'Southern Africa is facing a very serious food shortage, affecting as many as 13 million people,' she said. 'The problem has been brought about by drought, floods, the depletion of grain reserves, poor economic performance and a sharp rise in the price of staple foods.'

Non-government organisations to receive the latest funding include World Vision, Adventist Development Relief Agency, Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific, Care Australia, Plan and Austcare.

These organisations will work with local partners on activities to provide long-term food security, such as diversifying crops, improving crop storage, facilities and techniques, raising community awareness about nutrition and improving market opportunities.

Mrs Gallus said the countries to benefit were Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The latest funding flows on from a previous package which provided $10 million over the three years commencing in 1999.

Contacts:

Craig Bildstien (Parliamentary Secretary's Office) 0407 604437
Jo Elsom (AusAID) 02 6206 4960 / 0412 804 489