The Micah Women Leaders delegation brought together 40 women representing 12 different denominations from throughout Australia, including local representative Tracey Tessitore, who is Caritas Australia’s Diocesan director for Adelaide.
The group outlined how the combined threats of conflict, COVID, climate shocks and now the war in Ukraine, have created the perfect storm for an unprecedented global hunger crisis. In communities where people were already facing hunger, this conflict has pushed them to the breaking point, threatening almost 50 million lives in 45 countries.
Delegates met with senior Government ministers, key Opposition figures, cross bench MPs and minor party representatives to make the case for Help Fight Famine, a coalition of Australia’s leading aid and development organisations campaigning for the Government to spend $150 million on the hunger crisis.
“Our plight to the government was that we must support countries on the brink of famine, no matter where they are,” Tracey said.
“This is not only morally right but establishes Australia as a good international citizen.”
Tracey was part of a lobby group that included three “amazing” women leaders from the Uniting Church and a CEO from Ntegrity, a ‘for-purpose’ agency that supports not-for-profit organisations ‘grow goodness’ in the world.
“We had the incredible opportunity to meet with Patrick Gorman, assistant Minister to the Prime Minister; Louise Miller-Frost, Member for Boothby; Tony Zappia, Member for Makin; and David Fawcett, Senator for South Australia,” Tracey said.
“We had serious conversations to impress upon them the severity and unprecedented scale of the current global hunger crisis.
“We believe that there is still hope if we act now.”
Tracey said the Micah experience was “very interesting”.
“I was able to see behind the curtains of how our government works, but I also got to join like-minded women and become a part of an advocacy movement trying to make the world a better place,” she said.
“It was a privilege to advocate for the most vulnerable globally, and I was encouraged to know all the MPs that we spoke to cared deeply, were grateful for our advocacy and wanted to help.”
The Help Fight Famine campaign calls for the Federal Government to deliver an urgent $150 million Famine Prevention Package to stop a catastrophe in the worst-affected hunger hotspots in the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen.
Help Fight Famine also calls for the need to invest in a long-term, targeted Global Food Security Strategy, and include measures to strengthen resilience of the Asia Pacific region to climate change, disasters, and economic shocks.
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