COVID-19 continues to have significant economic and health impacts on the poorest people in our region. Australia is working with the World Food Programme (WFP) to address the risk of acute food insecurity.
The Australian Government is providing a further $34.7 million to support WFP’s vital work. This funding will be used by WFP to reach those in greatest need across the Indo-Pacific region. Women and girls are at greatest risk of hunger and malnutrition.
Australian funds will support WFP in Myanmar to provide emergency food assistance to over 360,000 conflict-affected and displaced people, and up to 2 million vulnerable people in urban areas.
We will also contribute to WFP’s operations in Indonesia and the Philippines. Previous contributions this year have supported Bangladesh and Timor-Leste. Australian support has also been critical in sustaining WFP’s humanitarian air service to ensure supplies and personnel reach the frontlines of the pandemic in the Pacific, Myanmar and Laos.
With Australia’s assistance, WFP will continue to monitor food security across the Pacific, given the region’s vulnerability to price shocks and the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Our funding will also respond directly to famine risk in Afghanistan, one of the most food insecure countries in the world. We are supporting WFP to provide life-saving food and other assistance across Afghanistan, as part of our long-standing commitment to support Afghanistan’s stability and development. Around one third of Afghanistan’s population – 14 million people –are expected to face crisis levels of food insecurity in coming months due to drought, conflict and the economic impacts of COVID-19. More than 40 percent of Afghan children under the age of five experience stunting due to acute malnutrition.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020 in recognition of its role supporting international peace and security.
Under Australia’s Partnerships for Recovery, we have prioritised health security, stability and economic recovery, working with the priorities of our partners in our region.