Today I announce a new partnership agreement between the Australian Government and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to help meet the most urgent humanitarian needs in our region and around the world.

Australia and the ICRC have worked in partnership for more than 40 years. With unparalleled access to victims of armed conflict, the ICRC plays a critical role in ensuring Australian assistance reaches those most in need.

Australia is providing $110 million over four years to the ICRC to protect people affected by conflict and violence, deliver life-saving food and medical aid to millions, reunite families separated by conflict, and promote respect for international humanitarian law worldwide.

Our support will focus particularly on the needs of women and girls, and people with disabilities. It will also help drive innovation and harness private sector expertise in the provision of humanitarian assistance to improve effectiveness and value for money, including piloting new water and renewable energy technologies to meet humanitarian needs in remote and hard to reach areas.

Last year, the ICRC provided food to 14.8 million people, delivered medical assistance to over 3.8 million people, and helped build and maintain infrastructure benefitting 28.4 million people. I commend the work of the ICRC’s field workers, who risk their lives to deliver support to the world’s most vulnerable people.

Attribution: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade websitewww.dfat.gov.au