Minister Costello announces emergency supplies for DRC4/12/12
Minister Costello said:
“I have approved an airlift of 18,000 blankets, 600 tarpaulins, and 500 tents from Ireland’s pre-positioned stocks in the UN Humanitarian Depot in Dubai. These essential supplies will allow our partners, Concern, Oxfam and Christian Aid to provide emergency shelter to those who have been forced to flee their homes. I have also placed members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps on standby to assist the international relief operation as necessary.
“The humanitarian situation in eastern DRC has deteriorated rapidly due to violence caused by the incursion of the rebel group, M23. An estimated 130,000 people have fled the eastern capital, Goma, and surrounding areas, which had already seen more than 1.5 million people leave due to ongoing conflict.
“The people of DRC are grappling with one of the most complex and enduring humanitarian crises in the world. After decades of war and mismanagement, DRC is the world’s least developed country. More than five million Congolese have lost their lives since 1998.
“Ireland has repeatedly condemned the serious human rights violations which have blighted the lives of so many Congolese and has provided significant support to the United Nations and major international NGOs to assist them in responding to this devastating crisis.”
Note for editors:
- Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas assistance. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- The humanitarian situation is becoming increasingly critical for populations affected by renewed conflict in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Prior to the most recent surge in violence, it was estimated that 550,000 people had been displaced across eastern DRC since April.
- Approximately 2.4 million people have been displaced across the country since 2009. In addition, more than 50,000 refugees have fled into Uganda and Rwanda in recent months.
- The support announced today brings the value of the Government’s response to the crisis in DR Congo so far this year to over €4.8 million, including funding provided to UN agencies and major international NGOs.
- Irish Aid maintains emergency stocks within the UN Humanitarian Relief Depot system located in or close to crisis-prone parts of the world. Through this network Irish Aid maintains supplies in Panama, Malaysia (Subang), Dubai, Ghana and Italy (Brindisi)
- Irish Aid maintains the Rapid Response Corps, a register of highly-skilled individuals who are willing to be deployed at short notice to assist in an emergency relief effort.