SYDNEY — Charities welcomed Australia’s decision to provide an additional $6.6 million to the World Food Program to help people in the Gaza Strip who are facing possible famine.

The new aid, announced Wednesday, brings Australia’s total of humanitarian aid for Gaza to $47.9 million since the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel ignited the war.

Save the Children Australia called the assistance vital. Its chief executive, Mat Tinkler, told local media that the “entire child population in Gaza [is] at risk of famine” and that “there are still more than a million children in desperate need of support.”

A coalition of charities, including Oxfam Australia and Caritas Australia, an aid agency of the Australian Catholic Church, said in a statement that “unimpeded humanitarian access was crucial” to the people of Gaza who “were physically and psychologically traumatized, sick and starving.”

The additional aid was announced by Australian Minister for Youth Anne Aly at a conference convened by Egypt, Jordan and the United Nations in Jordan.

Aly said the “humanitarian situation in Gaza is catastrophic.”

Aly represented Australia in place of Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong, who said in a statement that her government “continues to press for a cease-fire, for humanitarian aid to reach Gazans in desperate need, and for hostages to be released.”

Wong said Australia supported the cease-fire endorsed Monday by the U.N. Security Council.

Aly told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the conference also looked at how Gaza would be rebuilt after the war, saying that education will be important.

“So, really looking at what are the early efforts that can be put into rebuilding of Gaza,” she said, “not so much the infrastructure and rebuilding cities, but really, almost, rebuilding the people.”

Israeli authorities have said they have “daily assessments with international aid organizations operating in Gaza to review the situation and respond to the needs on the ground.”

Australia, which has said Israel has the right to defend itself, supports a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist within internationally recognized borders.

The Gaza conflict has divided public opinion in Australia, where there have been large pro-Palestinian demonstrations and rallies by supporters of Israel. Community groups have reported an increase in anti-Muslim and antisemitic abuse since the war began eight months ago.

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