Oxfam Australia has seen a dramatic rise in the level of public donations to its Horn of Africa famine appeal following the announcement of the Government’s initiative to match dollar-for-dollar donations to the crisis.
In the 10 days since the Government announced the matching scheme, Oxfam Australia has raised $250,000 to help those being affected by the unfolding tragedy. This will double to half a million dollars under the Government’s dollar-for-dollar scheme which runs until 30 November. To date Australians have generously given Oxfam Australia $2.5million to support the aid organisation’s lifesaving work in the affected region.
Oxfam Australia Executive Director Andrew Hewett said before the dollar-for-dollar initiative the agency had been witnessing a dip in public awareness and donations.
“The dollar-for-dollar announcement by Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is successfully re-energising donations, giving a much needed boost to our efforts to help those in desperate need,” Mr Hewett said.
“Oxfam is already reaching more than two million people in the region with emergency relief including essential food, water and sanitation, and any additional support will help us reach many more people affected by this devastating and escalating crisis.”
World Food Day this Sunday (16 October) provides a further opportunity for Australians to help those at risk in the Horn of Africa by taking part in Oxfam’s Shout the Horn fundraising initiative.
On Sunday the public are being asked to dine with friends and ‘shout’ the cost of an extra meal by making a donation to Oxfam’s East Africa Food Crisis appeal. Their donation will then be doubled under the Government’s dollar matching scheme.
Australian food personalities from around the country including Julie Goodwin, Andrew McConnell and Mark Jensen are among those supporting Oxfam’s Shout the Horn initiative.
MasterChef winner, Julie Goodwin said: “Across the Horn of Africa, 13 million people are at risk of hunger. Some areas of Southern Somalia have already been declared a famine, making this the first famine of the 21st century.
“By sharing a meal with friends and family and making a donation, you can help Oxfam provide lifesaving aid to people in the Horn of Africa and find long-term solutions to ensure that people in developing countries have enough to eat always,” Ms Goodwin said.
Already 86 venues around the country have signed up to participate and Oxfam is also encouraging people to host their own Shout the Horn dinner parties and make a donation to Oxfam’s East Africa appeal.
For more information on Shout the Horn, or to view the list of participating restaurants, visit www.oxfam.org.au/shoutthehorn
For media information contact: Oxfam Australia Media Coordinators Sunita Bose on 0407 555 960 or Chee Chee Leung on 0400 732 795.