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Australians Unaware Of Famine In East Africa Says Caritas

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According to the latest polling data, approximately two-thirds of Australians know next to nothing about the 23 million people at risk of starvation in Yemen and East Africa. The number of people threatened by food insecurity in that part of the world is almost the entire population of Australia. Whilst Australians seem to be blissfully unaware of it, this catastrophe, is potentially the largest humanitarian disaster since the World War 2.

Australians can be generous

Paul O’Callaghan, Caritas Australia CEO says that back in 1984, hundreds of thousands of people responded to the Ethiopian famine and took action. Australians were extremely generous with their donations and many participated in a global movement led by U2 lead singer Bono and the Live Aid concerts which sought to end hunger and poverty. This time the scale seems to be significantly larger but the issue just doesn’t appear to be popping up on Australian’s radars.

Australians can make a difference

Mr O’Callaghan added that he had just returned from Kenya where he witnessed the huge level of human suffering for himself. In Kenya alone, there are three million people going hungry. The human requirements in countries affected by this famine are so intense and Australia has the ability to make a difference.

Please donate

Caritas Australia is the Catholic agency for International Aid and Development and as part of the international network of Caritas organisations, Caritas Australia has helped to deliver lifesaving support to nearly half a million-people affected by the famine. Mr O’Callaghan says the Caritas Australia is soliciting donations so that it can scale up the work that is doing in response to the famine and deliver food and water to people and communities who need it most.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Oxfam Still Working Hard To Beat Back Famine In South Sudan

famine africa

According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) figures, the famine that has gripped parts of Africa has been pushed back in the two South Sudan counties of Leer and Mayendit and is now classified as a humanitarian crisis instead of famine. Sara Almer, Oxfam South Sudan Country Director says as a result of the efforts made to deliver aid, famine has been driven back in most of Leer and Mayendit. Whilst that is good news, 45,000 people in these areas are still facing famine-like conditions.

Success should not lead to complacency

Ms Almer adds that success in pushing back famine should not make us complacent, the food crisis continues to spread across South Sudan and nearly half the population of South Sudan or 6 million people are still at risk of severe hunger and require immediate assistance. Ms Almer estimates that over a million people in the former Jonglei State continue to live in a state of extreme hunger and have undergone months without enough food to eat. Oxfam is doing its part by distributing emergency food in the worst affected areas as it seeks to prevent the situation from getting even worse.

The starving depend on food aid

Ms Almer goes on to say whilst aid is providing some relief, the hungriest people in South Sudan have simply run out of ways to handle the situation and depend on food aid in order to survive. The rainy season is fast approaching, which will make it harder to deliver aid to people. Along with the rains comes an increased risk of cholera and other water borne disease out-breaks. As the rains start we arrive at the time of year when people are at their hungriest, just before the harvesting of crops.

 “While immediate help to fight hunger is still needed now, what the people of South Sudan ultimately need is peace. Along with sending aid, the international community needs to redouble its efforts to bring all warring parties to the negotiating table and to peacefully end their differences.” Said Ms Almer

IPC used by many countries and aid agencies now

The IPC system is used as a mechanism for improving food security analysis and related decision making. It is basically a standardised scale that combines information about food security, livelihood and nutrition into a clear metric which shows the nature and severity of food security. The IPC was first used by the FAO’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU). Since it was first developed a number of countries and international agencies have introduced it in their own food security contexts.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Australia One Of The Most Generous Societies In The World

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It is no secret that Australia is one of the most generous societies in the world, donating about $4 billion every year to worthwhile causes. Residents of New South Wales are the most generous in the country according to a study conducted by Decibel Research. The study found that the average Australian donates $200 a year to charity. New South Wales residents donated an average of $265 whilst Western Australia ranked second with residents donating $262 whilst Victoria ranked third with an average annual donation of $200.

Women more likely to donate but men donate more

Women were found to be more likely than men to give to charity with 76 per cent making a donation in a year compared with 69 per cent for men. Whilst more women give, it was the men that tended to give more with a $214 average donation compared to a $190 donation average donation for women. The research also found that the number of Australians who said they had never made a donation was surprisingly high. 10 per cent of the population chose to keep all their cash in their pocket.

Too complicated to choose a cause

There are over 54,000 registered charities in Australia and the sheer number may make it too complicated to choose a beneficiary.  A recent report by Philanthropy Capital emphasised the increasing requirement for NFP groups to alter the way they collect. The organisation says that innovative philanthropy is essential is charities are going to deal with the increasingly complex social and environmental issues we face today.

Charities must innovate in the way they solicit donations

One way to achieve this is exemplified by a campaign that was recently launched by Canon Australia called Donate or Keep. Between now and July the company’s customers will have the opportunity to earn cash back on printer products, but have the option of donating their cash back to one of three charities. Jason McLean Canon’s director of consumer imaging said his company was incredibly proud to partner with some of the most respected charities in Australia by providing consumers the chance to make a difference with the purchase of their new printer.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Andrew Forrest Makes Largest Living Charitable Donation In Australian History

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The mining magnate Andrew Forrest has revealed that he will donate $400 of his personal fortune. The extraordinary act of generosity was reported by the media initially and was then late confirmed by Mr Forrest himself. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten joined Mr Forrest at the announcement which was made at Parliament House in Canberra.

Extraordinary act of generosity

Mr Turnbull said that the donation was nothing short of extraordinary and was an excellent example of leadership, love and generosity. He added the donation was not extracted by the force of law instead it was a matter of the conviction of Mr Forrest’s love and commitment. The Prime Minister went on to say that everyone knows regardless of how successful they are, life could have turned out to be very different and we could all be much worse off and less well situated.

“All of us who have done well have been blessed by good fortune. So the generous person, the loving person gives back.” Mr Turnbull said

The donation will fund many causes

The money will be spent on a variety of different causes. Approximately $75 million will be used to fund cancer research. Another $75 million will be used to fund higher education. $75 million will fund childhood education. $50 million will be used to finance disadvantaged indigenous people and $75 million will go towards the elimination of modern slavery.

Serious philanthropist

Mr Forrest is the Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group and both he and his wife have over the years given very generously to many causes, however the most recent announcement dwarfs anything he has done before. In fact, the donation of $400 million is the single largest charitable donation made by a living person in the history of Australia. Whilst there have been significant donations made on a number of occasions in the past, the largest have tended to come from estates of deceased people or large companies.

A serious gift to the fight against cancer

Dr Ronald Dephino who will benefit from the endowment for cancer research said the world was in a position to make a decisive attack on cancer. The $75 million that Mr Forrest is donating towards the cancer initiative will be spent on making sure global cancer institute’s co-ordinate with one another efficiently.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Oxfam Report Slams Australia’s Commitment To Coal

famine africa

Dr Helen Szoke who is chief executive of Oxfam Australia says a recently completed report titled “More Coal Equals More Poverty” has shown than Australia’s present position on coal was fundamentally at odds with global climate change and the transition to renewable energy. Dr Szoke says the failure by the Federal Government to restrain Australia’s carbon pollution and its obstinate desire to expand the country’s coal exports continues despite there being overwhelming evidence that carbon emissions from coal are putting communities in Australia and all over the world at risk of harm.

Causes human misery

She adds the real cost of burning more coal will be measured by how much more poverty it will cause through the escalating impact of climate change and humanitarian disasters. Dr Szoke says Australia must stop hanging on to dated technologies and instead contribute towards bringing an end to the fossil fuel era. What that means is there should be no new commitments to coal mines such as the Adani mega mine. The country should also rule out public funding for new coal infrastructure. It also means Australia must also phase out coal rapidly from its own electricity supply.

Coal cannot deliver

Dr Szoke says that coal simply cannot meet the energy needs of the world’s poor people.  She adds that for millions of families including Australia’s neighbours in the Pacific, climate change is far from being a far of threat and is instead a real and present danger that is already costing lives. The report by Oxfam draws attention to the dramatic increase in the use of renewable energy plans of India and China.

 “China has suspended more than 100 planned or partly constructed coal-fired power plants and plans to invest more than $493 billion in renewables through to 2020,” Dr Szoke said. “India’s latest National Energy Plan projects it will reach 275GW of renewable energy capacity by 2027 and will have no need to begin constructing new coal-fired power plants over the next decade.”

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Save Up To 70% At The Oxfam Store – Offer Ends 30-06-17

Oxfam Australia Says The Country Needs To Do More To Fight Climate Change

The Oxfam Shop has a great offer on right now.  To celebrate the end of financial year, Oxfam is offering deep discounts to its shoppers. All you need to do is visit the Oxfam store between now and the 30th June and you could save as much as 70 per cent on any item you buy. Hurry though this offer expires at the end of the month so head on over to the Oxfam store today.

How To Get This Deal

  • Visit the Oxfam Shop before 30th June 2017
  • Make a purchase
  • Get a 70 % discount on your purchase

Shop Now at Oxfam

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Twitch Raises Money For Australian Cancer Charity

Australian Charities Would Befit Hugely If People Left Bequests

Recently Sony got together with live streaming platform Twitch to stream a whopping 30 hours of gaming to support an Australian charity. The Gaming4Life stream gave gamers the opportunity to come together in support for the youth cancer program You Can. Streamers took part in over 30 hours of gameplay, challenges, as well as live music performances which was all broadcast free of charge on

Twitch users are a generous bunch

Twitch, which was acquired by Amazon in 2014 has been growing exponentially since it launched six years ago in Australia. The gaming stream site attracts a massive 1.3 million unique visitors every month. Twitch’s audience is generous as well. Last year charitable donations made via the platform, totalled a huge US$25.3 million. Lewis Mitchell of Twitch Australia says fans of the site’s generosity can be attributed to the platform’s continuing dedication building a destination where fans feel comfortable.

Previously hosted bizarre events

Previously Twitch has served as host to a number of events which can only be described as bizarre. The platform hosted ‘Twitch Play Pokemon’. The event allowed viewers to use Twitch’s chat function to share control over the classic Gameboy title. The event was a huge success and resulted in a number of memes and off-platform community involvement with no involvement from the company Gaming4Life was as big a success as Twitch Play Pokeman as a result of the community.

 “When [Twitch] get involved in things, it’s really just a push in the right direction, or making sure that people are booked in to the right times, the rest is up to them”. said Mr Mitchell

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Caritas Australia Appeals For Donations To Feed Africa’s Starving

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In a pastoral letter written by the Bishops of South Sudan, they have said their people are simply struggling to survive and have expressed a desperate plea for help. Recently the United Nations declared famine in parts of the country and according to Paul O’Callaghan who heads up Caritas Australia, if there is no concerted political and community action, it is likely the famine will spread throughout the region. He added that there are over 20 million people at risk of starvation and this could well end up being catastrophic without immediate attention.

It is important to deal with the problem before it is too late

Mr O’Callaghan says it is critical for us to do whatever is possible before it is too late. The situation is unprecedented and is arguably the most serious food security event that has occurred since the 1984 famine that devastated Ethiopia. As a result, Caritas has launched an Africa Emergency Appeal as it seeks to raise money to help those who need it. The aid agency is working with partners throughout the Caritas International network to deliver aid to the affected countries in Africa.

Unique reach

Mary Wachira who is Caritas Australia’s representative on the ground in South Sudan says Caritas has a unique reach through the Church and is able to deliver aid to the most vulnerable communities which means it is ideally placed to provide help to those who need it. Australians have time and again shown their generosity and this time round the money they donate will be used to provide people with food and water as well as allow Caritas to continue its long-term development work so that communities end up being more resilient to possible future threats.

Climate change is a major problem

This latest food crisis is in large part driven by conflict in many areas alongside high inflation which is driving food prices sky high. In addition, climate change is making the problem of drought throughout the Horn of Africa more acute. The long-term impact of climate change means the entire region is finding it more difficult to endure extreme weather which puts thousands of people at risk of hunger and disease.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Oxfam Praises Australian Government Over Refugee Resettlement But Says More Needs To Be Done

Syrian Refugees

Oxfam the aid agency said the Government of Australia should allow more refugees into the country following the announcement that 12,000 visas were awarded to Syrian and Iraqi refugees.  The Australian Government runs a resettlement programme for refugees and Oxfam reiterated it was pleased with the decision to resettle all the refugees the country had committed to doing back in 2015 said Oxfam spokesperson Nicole Bieske in a statement.

Fleeing the violence

The civil war in Syria has taken a dire turn recently with the alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians by Syria’s military. The conflict has resulted in more than 5 million people fleeing the violence. Tony Abbot the then Australian Prime Minister announced a one-off resettlement programme in 2015 that sought to take in 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees. That commitment was made in addition to Australia’s annual intake of 13,750 refugees.

More refugees should be accepted

Ms Bieske added that considering the success of the resettlement programme as well as the ongoing fighting and humanitarian disaster in both countries, Australia should be striving to settle more Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Ms Bieske pointed out that there is a growing resistance towards refugees and policies have become more restricted in the US, UK and EU. She said she would prefer to see Australia doing much more to help properly assessed Syrian refugees and offer more support in local communities to assist their integration into Australian society.

Resettlement should not be based on religion

Bob Bowker who previously served as Australian Ambassador to Syria said in an interview, that Australia’s response must be based on common humanity and not on the basis of religion. The resettlement programme has come under criticism by identifying persecuted minorities for resettlement and was actually showing a preference for Christians over other religions or sects.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Ex Manchester United Stars Lose To Australian Legends Team In Charity Match

Manchester United

Recently a charity match between a star-studded Manchester United team made up of ex-players against a team of Australian legends was played in Perth. The Australian legends team managed to beat the Manchester United XI team 3-0. Paul Scholes led out the Manchester United team into a stadium filled with 12,000 fans. However, the Australian legends team manged to score three goals during the second half produced a comfortable win for the hosts.

The Australian team was much younger

Dwight Yorke, Ronny Johnsen, and Dwight Yorke wore the Red Devils strip for the game and the United side was managed by Bryan Robson who himself is a former United and England captain and also played in the match during its later stages. The average age of the Australian side was 35, which was 9 years junior to that of United. The age difference showed as United lost Quinton Fortune and Paul Scholes to injury.

Three goals in the second half

Nick Carle opened the scoring for the Australian team with shot that curled into the top corner from the edge of the area. Bobby Despotovski added to the Australian team’s lead by shooting from close range whilst Con Boutsianis deflected a shot into the goal from just six yards out to make for a comfortable win for the Australians.

“The Aussies were, without doubt, the stronger team.,” Irwin told MUTV. “They were stronger than us, fresher than us, younger than us. It didn’t help that Quinton and Scholesy got injured in the first half but they were better than us. The crowd have come out, they’ve enjoyed the night and we’re disappointed we got beat 3-0 but it’s all for a good cause. It’s always for a good cause and the lads always love turning out. It’s been a good night. It was humid out there but I enjoyed playing.”

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

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