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Government commits €3 million in funding for humanitarian emergencies

Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Sean Sherlock, Irish Aid, Funding, Press Releases, Africa, Middle East and North Africa, 2014

Government commits €3 million in funding for humanitarian emergencies in Chad, Central African Republic and Yemen

The Government is to provide €3.2 million in urgent humanitarian assistance to communities affected by conflict and drought in the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad and Yemen, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, have announced.

Emphasising Ireland’s long-standing commitment to people affected by “forgotten emergencies” Minister Flanagan said:

“Forgotten crises often receive less international attention and funding than is required to meet even the most basic human needs – access to clean water, food and shelter. Away from the media spotlight, the vast majority of those affected are vulnerable women and children, and they need our continued help.

“In the Central African Republic alone, 2.5 million people are in immediate need of humanitarian assistance with crisis levels of food insecurity affecting almost half of the population.

“Similarly the crises in Chad and Yemen are not well-known situations, but the needs are very real, and Ireland is helping to ensure that these people are not forgotten.

“Ireland has been internationally recognised for our focus on humanitarian emergencies, most recently in a very positive review carried out by the OECD. We provided over €68 million in humanitarian support to crises in 2014 and will continue this strong commitment into the New Year.”

Minister of State Sherlock said:

“Ireland’s funding to our UN and NGO partners on the ground in these below-the-radar emergencies will help to provide food aid, improved water, adequate sanitation, healthcare, and support to agriculture, in some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world.

“I also pay tribute to the two members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps have been deployed to the Central African capital, Bangui, this year, to support the vital work of UN partners UNICEF and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

“The funding announced today will provide life-saving assistance to some of those most in need.”

The funding is being distributed as follows:

  • €1 million for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) response in Chad
  • €500,000 for the UN Emergency Response Fund in Yemen, which provides rapid, flexible funding to NGOs and UN agencies which have the best capacity to deliver services on the ground
  • €600,000 for Plan Ireland to provide education for refugee children displaced from the Central African Republic into Cameroon
  • €500,000 for Oxfam Ireland’s activities in livelihoods and supporting women’s saving groups in the Central African Republic
  • €500,000 for Concern’s work on agriculture and food security, livelihoods, and water and sanitation in the Central African Republic
  • €100,000 for Tearfund Ireland’s activities on agriculture and food security in the Central African Republic

ENDS

Press Office

29th December 2014

 

Notes to Editor:

  • 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
  • A conflict in 2013 in the Central African Republic (CAR) affected almost the entire population, in what was already one of the poorest countries in the world. A UN peacekeeping force has now been deployed, but hundreds of thousands of people have not yet been able to return home. The UN currently estimates that there are 410,000 people displaced within the Central African Republic (CAR). The entire population of 4.6 million, half of whom are children, have been impacted by the ongoing crisis. A UN peacekeeping force, MINUSCA, has taken up its role in September 2014, but stability has not yet been restored. This funding brings Irish Aid support to CAR to almost €6 million to date in 2014.
  • Chad, where Irish troops were deployed as part of an EU force in 2008-2009, is now more stable, but hosts half a million refugees from conflicts in neighbouring Sudan and the Central African Republic, and now also people fleeing Boko Haram violence in northern Nigeria. Irish funding will help provide water, sanitation, health services and nutrition programmes to these refugees. The UN estimates that Chad is host to over half a million displaced people. Chad is located in the drought-prone Sahel region, which has suffered significantly from climate change. The UN has indicated that even though the harvest has just taken place in Chad, which usually provides some respite from hunger, there are already 2.5 million people in need of food aid. According to UNICEF statistics, under-5 mortality in Chad is the third-highest in the world, and over 150,000 children suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition.
  • In Yemen, after years of conflict, which have exacerbated the suffering caused by drought, there is currently a fragile peace, but it is still one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world. Ireland’s funding to Yemen will be channelled to UN agencies and NGO partners who are providing life-saving assistance, including emergency shelter, health services, and improvements to food security and nutrition. In Yemen, 14.7 million people (more than half the population) are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. They include 10.5 million food-insecure, of whom 4.5 million are severely food insecure. Over a million children under five suffer from acute malnutrition, of whom approximately 279,000 suffer from severe acute malnutrition. Over half the population do not have adequate water or sanitation. Ireland previously contributed €200,000 to the ERF for Yemen in 2011, 2012 and 2013