|Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, today announced details of a humanitarian and recovery aid package of over €12.8 million for Africa and the Middle East.
Making the announcement, Minister Lenihan said:
“The attention of the world has been rightly focussed on the plight of the victims of October's earthquake in South Asia. At the beginning of 2005 and during this week's commemoration ceremonies, the world's attention was similarly focused on the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami. Ireland responded quickly and generously to these emergencies.
However, there are other, emergencies away from the media spotlight. We must not forget those who continue to suffer greatly in other parts of the world, in particular in Africa where humanitarian needs are so great. We must respond to all humanitarian crises, including those that are under-reported or in danger of being forgotten.
Thanks to the increased resources being made available to the aid programme, we can do more. Today's announcement brings our emergency and recovery funding to Africa alone this year to some €30 million.
The details of this package show the range and depth of Irish humanitarian and recovery interventions across Africa, and other parts of the world”.
€2.7 million in assistance is being provided to partner agencies working to avert a major food crisis in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The funding has been allocated to the NGOs Concern, Trócaire, Concern Universal and Oxfam Ireland, as well as to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF, to assist in addressing the chronic underlying causes and effects of the food crisis affecting this region.
€1.85 million is being provided to programmes addressing HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation and election preparation in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone has only recently emerged from years of intense and brutal conflict which left its infrastructure shattered. Ireland attaches great importance to assisting this country in its recovery and, earlier this year, DCI opened an office in Freetown. This announcement brings Ireland's total support to Sierra Leone in 2005 to €3 million.
€2.6 million is being provided to help meet humanitarian needs of the conflict-affected populations of Northern Uganda and Sudan. Funding support of €1.2 million to Sudan brings Ireland's assistance committed in 2005 to humanitarian and recovery needs in that country to over €9 million.
€2.75 million is being provided in assistance to Palestine, including €1.5 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). This money will be used for the provision of basic services, and in the education and rural development sectors. The total assistance provided to Palestine this year will be over €4 million.
Further assistance is also included for programmes in the following countries: Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Liberia and Somalia.