"The ongoing refugee and climate-induced crises in Africa have led to a dramatic humanitarian emergency. Millions of people have fled and are relying on aid. We have to provide aid to the affected regions quickly in order to prevent the humanitarian situation from deteriorating further," said Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl. The Austrian Federal Government is therefore providing 6.5 million euros from the Foreign Disaster Fund to the affected regions in South Sudan, Uganda, Chad, Ethiopia and Egypt. Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz underlined that "Austria will live up to its humanitarian responsibility. Close cooperation with African countries is vital to improving living conditions and enabling sustainable development."
"All of these countries face numerous challenges, including managing the consequences of ongoing droughts, finding accommodation for refugees, and providing medical care and clean drinking water. The funds from the FDF are intended to facilitate rapid aid where it is needed most. Our goal is to alleviate the humanitarian emergency, but also to remove the causes of forced displacement and migration. That is why providing aid on the ground is particularly important to us. We have to give the people prospects that will enable them to stay in their region," the Foreign Minister said.
Ethiopia has taken in the second-largest number of refugees in all of Africa, and is still affected by the consequences of the worst period of drought in recent decades following a lack of rainfall in autumn 2017. A total of 7.8 million people are dependent on food aid. In order to alleviate the humanitarian emergency, one million euros from the FDF is to be given to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and one million euros will be provided to several Austrian NGOs for aid measures. In South Sudan, forced displacement, poor access to medical care and inadequate sanitary amenities and water supplies represent the greatest humanitarian challenges. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) will receive 500,000 euros each from the FDF to be put towards humanitarian aid measures.
As the country that has taken in the greatest number of refugees, Uganda faces considerable supply bottlenecks. In order to provide appropriately for the more than 1.4 million refugees in the country, one million euros from the FDF will be provided to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and one million euros will be given to a number of Austrian NGOs. Chad is facing severe challenges in terms of food insecurity, which will become further intensified by the increasing inflow of refugees from neighbouring countries. Almost four million people in Chad are affected by food insecurity and malnutrition. Around one million people suffer from acute starvation. The FDF made 500,000 euros available to the International Committee of the Red Cross to help with this issue. Egypt has accepted refugees from more than 60 countries. In order to guarantee support for the refugees in the country, the FDF is providing one million euros to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
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