Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore TD, and Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD today announced €1 million in funding for the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the Central African Republic (CAR), and to support the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) which is operated by WFP.
Minister Costello met the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Ms Ertharin Cousin, this morning to sign a Letter of Understanding renewing Ireland’s commitment to maintaining stocks in five UN Humanitarian Response Depot hubs across the world, which are maintained by WFP.
The Tánaiste underlined the importance of assisting the Central African Republic, where ongoing instability and violence is hampering relief efforts:
“The ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic is having a severe effect on the country’s population, who are already extremely vulnerable. Ireland has provided €14 million to the Central African Republic since 2008. The additional funding announced today is a further demonstration of Ireland’s commitment to assist those most affected by hunger and malnutrition.
“I call upon all donors to ensure that they too give the money they have pledged as soon as possible, in order to ensure that the people of CAR receive the vital assistance they so urgently require.”
Speaking after meeting Ms Cousin, this morning, Minister Costello said:
“The humanitarian crises to which WFP and the international community are responding are increasingly challenging. In countries such as Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Niger, where no safe and reliable commercial option exists, the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) offers a lifeline to communities in need.
“Over the course of the last year, UNHAS has supported the operations of 1,300 humanitarian agencies and has allowed crucial supply lines to affected populations to be maintained. The funding we agreed to provide today will assist them in this important work.”
11 March 2014
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