Ireland’s humanitarian assistance worldwide reaches €100 million in 2015
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan TD, and the Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock TD, have announced that Ireland is providing €11.75 million in humanitarian assistance through the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund to strengthen the UN’s response to the unprecedented level of humanitarian crisis worldwide. This will bring the total amount of humanitarian assistance provided by Ireland through the Government’s aid programme to €100 million in 2015.
Minister Flanagan stated:
“Throughout 2015, the world has faced an unprecedented series of humanitarian crises. There are now 60 million people displaced from their homes as a result of conflict and violence. Half of them are children. This is more than at any time since the Second World War.
“I am proud that, through our aid programme and the work of our NGOs, Ireland is recognised internationally for its consistent humanitarian assistance for refugees and people in crisis, even at difficult times at home. This is an essential element of our foreign policy.
“We have seen the human cost in the migration crisis in Europe this year. The brutal conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan continue to affect staggering numbers of people and put extraordinary strain on the international humanitarian system. Millions of people across Africa are hungry and malnourished.
“Ireland’s humanitarian response throughout 2015 focused on the most severe crises, providing €100 million through our UN, Red Cross and NGO partners on the ground. This has included humanitarian need in crises which have not been in the headlines, including in Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and across the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.”
Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation Seán Sherlock added:
“Irish Aid is working hard to address the root causes of crises in countries across the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and the Sahel. This year we continued to respond to the Syrian crisis, providing €13 million in assistance through the UN, Red Cross and NGO partners, both in Syria and neighbouring countries. The war in Syria since 2011 has resulted in the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. It has had an appalling impact on people in Syria and on Syria’s immediate neighbours, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, which host more than 4.2 million registered refugees, more than half of them children. I saw the impact for myself when I visited Jordan in October. Ireland’s support to the Syrian people since 2012 has been over €42 million, our largest response to a single humanitarian crisis in recent years.”
In 2015, €22 million in humanitarian assistance was directed to countries in crises in the Horn of Africa including South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Under Ireland’s Rapid Response Initiative, Irish Aid deployed 305 tonnes of our stockpiled emergency relief supplies in 2015, to a total value of €2.7 million.
32 members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps were also deployed into crises to work with our UN humanitarian partners in countries including South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Guinea, Malawi, Tanzania, Jordan, Nepal and Macedonia. Rapid responders deploy at short notice to fill critical gaps in humanitarian and emergency response operations, in some of the most challenging and difficult environments.
In addition to Ireland’s funding to the UN and the Red Cross, Irish Aid provided some €24 million to Non-Governmental Organisations for their work in protracted crises such as in South Sudan, Somalia, DRC, Niger and Afghanistan and in response to sudden onset emergencies such as the Nepal earthquake.
• Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see www.irishaid.ie.
• Ireland’s Humanitarian Assistance Policy sets out the goal of Ireland’s new Humanitarian Assistance Policy outlines how Irish Aid saves and protects lives, alleviates suffering and maintains human dignity before, during and in the aftermath of humanitarian crises. For further information read the new Humanitarian Assistance Policy.
• The Rapid Response Corps is a standby roster of highly skilled and experienced professionals available to deploy at short notice to humanitarian emergencies anywhere in the world. When deployed, roster members fill specific skills gaps identified by four Irish Aid standby partner organisations: the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the World Food Programme (WFP); the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
• Irish Aid works in partnership with a wide range of civil society organisations in Ireland and abroad to undertake long-term overseas development, development education and the delivery of emergency assistance and recovery. The aim of these partnerships is to contribute to the reduction of poverty in the developing world.
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