Australia needs to plan and invest now to ensure it can meet the future demand for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations.
With climate change increasing the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, Australia needs to effectively expand its capabilities to deal with future weather events and other natural threats. The Australian Government provides life-saving commodities and physical support to affected Australian communities and their regional neighbours through the Australian Defence Force. But adding responsibilities for disaster-response could divert ADF capability away from the ADF’s core task of defending the nation. Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) is costly and resource-intensive. For example, Operation Fiji Assist involved more than 600 ADF personnel delivering $4.5 million of humanitarian relief supplies. This article from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute argues that the Australian Government needs to invest more heavily (and strategically) in HADR, in order to effectively support the likely increase in humanitarian missions both here and abroad.