Australia and the World
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Australia and the World
The alliance of the United States of America and Australia is an epitome of security, stability and abundance in the world. Foreignminister.gov (2011) describes the coalition as adaptable and innovative in facing new challenges in the 21st century. The diplomats work as one in addressing the transnational challenges in supporting the human rights, the rule of law, democracy, freedom throughout the world and in shaping the architecture of the Asia-Pacific in providing for its continued rise and growth. Moreover, the alliance through aid and aid workers, empower those belonging to the marginal society such as those in the Horn of Africa. AusAID (2011) claims that it is in charge for running the overseas aid program of Australia and as an Executive Agency in the Foreign Affairs and Trade, reports directly to the Foreign Affairs Minister. Among the agencys function is to assist developing countries in alleviating poverty and attaining sustainable development along the national interest of Australia. It is also committed in evaluating and improving the aid programs of Australia, including the collection, analysis and publication of pertinent development data and other information.
In line with their objective, Australiangovernment AusAid (2011) states that on October 5, 2011 Australia launched Dollar for Dollar initiative where every dollar donated by the public to AusAID-accredited NGO working in the Horn of Africa will be matched by the government. The people of Australia are known to be generous and Minister Rudd is confident that the initiative will achieve greater heights. The Australian Government is particularly concerned on the increasing humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa brought about by the famine in some parts of Southern Somalia. ABC Radio National (2011) reports that about 30% of children in two areas of Somalia are acutely malnourished so the United Nations has declared famine in the areas. According to the radio report, around 15,000 Somalis are fleeing from refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya every month in search for food and water since the start of the year. Another report from ABC Radio National (2011) describes how heavy rain in Somalia has increased the anguish of Somalis fleeing from drought and WHO avers that around 5 million people could be at risk of cholera. The Australian Government took action upon the knowledge that more than 13 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are in dire need of humanitarian aid and foods, (AusAID 2011).
Australias funding allocation in response to the famine and drought in the Horn of Africa reaches 128 million dollars where $98 million goes to the humanitarian assistance and the $30 million allocated to the long term budget for food (AusAid 2011). According to the UN Financial Tracking Service, Australia holds the title as the fourth largest country donor to the Horn of Africa in the whole world. Aside from this, Australia is still supporting the immediate health and nutrition needs of women and children throughout Somalia through the UNICEF program. AusAid (2011) confirms that Australias assistance through UNICEF is intended to provide treatment for those extremely malnourished children by way of complementary feeding, measles immunizations and the promotion of hygiene at the refugee camps such as upgrading of sanitation and water facilities. Moreover, the assistance will also cover child protection activities including education and the establishment of Child Friendly Spaces and schools in the refugee camps.
Kwek (2011) comments that the response to the famine to the Horn of Africa is “too late, too little. According to her article entitled Fixing Famine, 12 million people are in need of food and yet the United Nations confirmed that out of the $2.4 billion requested from donor countries for the crisis, only 46 per cent or a dollar equivalent of $1.1 billion has received. The money is intended to be used for the basic needs of famine victims such as food, water supply, shelter and sanitation. In addition, the report adds that it will also be used to keep the Somalis from where they live now to avoid moving to refugee camps which are already overfull of famine victims. Mr. Hewett, executive director of Oxfam Australia, said in his interview that the people will be at risk of the next rains if it falls in October. But if the rains fall in the next three months, then they still have time to focus on the basic needs of the Somalis and more importantly, to keep them alive. On the other hand, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a UN agency, keep the drought-stricken people from leaving their farms by paying them for small jobs. Luca Alinovi, a FAO spokesperson divulges that if these people leave their farms then they will become more dependent on the aid for longer term.
In addition to the Australian aid to the Horn of Africa, Australia in coalition with the US work together in achieving mutual interests in promoting greater military cooperation. Kwek (2011) mentions in her report that the “UN representatives said that AMISON – African Union Mission in Somalia – a peacekeeping force launched in 2007 which has troops force from countries like Uganda, needs more financial and military support to safeguard food convoys travelling within the country. Marc Purcel, the executive director of the Australian Council for International Development, adds that keeping political dialogue with Somalia such as the African Union is important to maintain the humanitarian corridors open.
Food aids are dispatched from the United States and Mr. Hewett comments that if the intention were really to help the