MP pushes food drops
STARVING refugees in drought-stricken and war-torn Somalia would benefit more from food drops than cash contributions, Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said.
Mr O’Dowd has called on the Federal Government to work with Australian Primary Producers and buy up excess crop and cereals stockpiles and deliver the much needed protein and food substances to the Horn of Africa.
He said there are 10,000 tonnes of mung beans, a rich food source, in storage in Central Queensland silos which farmers are unable to send to market.
“Mung beans have more protein than rice and I am sure these farmers would welcome the opportunity to talk to the government about a fair deal to help these starving people,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“It is not only mung beans, there is a whole range of primary products produced by hard working Australian farmers that could be purchased by the government and provided to drought stricken countries to feed their population.”
An estimated 78,000 Somalis have fled to Ethiopia to escape drought in the Horn of Africa.
Famine has been declared in several southern regions in Somalia, but poor sanitation, lack of clean water and disease outbreaks have contributed to the harsh living conditions.