Minister Coveney announces €11 million in humanitarian funding to the Horn of Africa region
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., who is currently on a visit to the Horn of Africa, today announced further humanitarian support by Ireland to the region totalling €11 million.
The scale of humanitarian needs across the Horn is now unprecedented, driven by conflict and climate change, severe drought, massive population displacements which in turn causes loss of livelihoods and acute hunger and malnutrition.
This additional support announced by Minister Coveney includes funding for UN and NGO partners’ humanitarian response operations in Ethiopia and Somalia. The funding will help to meet the needs of over 1.4 million South Sudanese refugees now in northern Uganda and western Ethiopia, who have been forced by conflict and violence to flee their homes. It also includes a consignment of 75 tonnes of Ireland’s emergency relief items, including blankets, tents and jerry cans, which were sent to Somalia under Irish Aid’s Rapid Response Initiative for distribution, by Trócaire, to vulnerable people displaced by drought.
Minister Coveney stated:
“I am deeply concerned that, today, over 30 million people in the Horn of Africa region are now in need of humanitarian assistance, over 24 million of whom do not have sufficient food to feed themselves or their families. Millions have been forced from their homes and their countries. The humanitarian situation across the region is dire. These people’s lives hang in the balance, and humanitarian support plays a vital part in saving lives.”
Ireland has been a steadfast and committed supporter to the Horn of Africa, providing over €127 million in life-saving humanitarian assistance through the Irish Aid programme since 2012. The new funding, which Minister Coveney announced today, will bring Ireland’s humanitarian assistance to the Horn region to over €138 million since 2012.
Minister Coveney added:
“Providing lifesaving assistance to the Horn of Africa region has been, and continues to be, a cornerstone of Ireland’s humanitarian programme, with over €127 million in support provided to the region since 2012 alone. Today I am pleased to announce additional support to the Horn region of €11 million between now and early 2018, bringing Ireland’s total humanitarian assistance to the region to over €138 million.”
In concluding his remarks, Minister Coveney highlighted the need for the international community to step up our collective efforts to address the root causes of humanitarian crises in the Horn region:
“Working closely with our partner Governments in the Horn of Africa, as well as with our EU and UN partners, we recognise that to end the chronic cycle of crises, we must reinvigorate and step up our efforts to end conflict and violence across the region and work harder to ensure lasting peace and stability. The support that Ireland continues to provide, the leadership we demonstrate at global and regional level in raising awareness of the humanitarian crises in the region, and the imperative to focus on ending need, is something we as a nation can be justifiably proud of.”
7 November 2017
Notes to Editor
Recent contributions 2017
- an additional contribution this year of €2 million to the UN-managed country-based pooled fund in Ethiopia, the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, bringing Ireland’s total contribution to this fund to €3.3 million this year;
- an additional contribution this year of €300,000 to UNHCR Ethiopia, brining Ireland’s total contribution to almost €1 million in 2017;
- a donation of 75 tonnes of emergency relief supplies for distribution in Somalia , with the total costs of the relief items and transport amounting to €330,000;
- a contribution of €1.5 million to UNHCR Uganda and WFP Uganda to support their humanitarian operations in northern Uganda to assist the over 1 million South Sudanese refugees now in Uganda
Planned Contributions early 2018
- an contribution of €4 million is planned for Ethiopia Humanitarian crisis in early 2018;
- an contribution of €3 million is planned for Somalia in early 2018;