Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, have today (19th August) paid tribute to aid workers and humanitarian efforts on World Humanitarian Day.
World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to recognise and commemorate the efforts of humanitarian workers around the world who face enormous risks every day to bring relief to people whose lives have been torn apart by war or natural disasters.
This year’s theme is “The World Needs More Humanitarian Heroes”.
Speaking today, Minister Flanagan said:
“This has already proven to be another difficult and challenging year on the humanitarian front. Just last week, the UN raised the crisis in Iraq to a Level 3 emergency, the highest ranking for a humanitarian crisis which is already in place for Syria, South Sudan and Central African Republic.
“The international community is also grappling with the impact of the recent conflict in Gaza as well as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
“Ireland is playing its part to confront these issues head on. So far in 2014 we have provided more than €24 million to these most urgent crises”
The recent tragic deaths of aid workers in Gaza and South Sudan are a stark illustration of the daily threats faced by those delivering humanitarian assistance in places torn apart by conflict.
Minister Sherlock today paid tribute to Irish and international aid workers around the world, saying:
“Violence continues to exact a heavy toll on humanitarian personnel. I would like to take this opportunity to express my condolences on behalf of the Irish people to the families, friends, and colleagues of the 54 humanitarian aid workers killed so far in 2014, and the 155 killed in 2013.
“World Humanitarian Day provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the incredible humanitarian work that thousands of people around the world are doing every day, including Irish humanitarian workers.
“Ireland condemns in the strongest possible terms all attacks on aid workers as they seek to deliver urgent assistance to populations affected by humanitarian crisis, and calls for unhindered access to affected areas where they carry out their lifesaving work.”
19 August 2014
Notes to the editor:
• Ireland’s contribution to the current crisis in Iraq stands at €1,155,000 to date for 2014. Ireland’s total contribution to humanitarian programmes in Iraq for the period 2006-2014 now stands at over €18 million.
• So far in 2014, Ireland has provided €14 million to the crisis in Syria. This brings our overall funding in Syria in the period 2011 to 2014 to more than €28 million.
• The total Irish Aid commitment to the South Sudan crisis (including to South Sudanese refugees in bordering countries) amounts to almost €5 million to date in 2014. Since 2012, Ireland has provided over €19 million to South Sudan.
• To date in 2014, Ireland’s has provided €4,250,000 in response to the crisis in the Central Africa Republic (CAR). Since 2008 Ireland has provided almost €20 million to UN agencies and NGO partners to undertake life-saving work with the most vulnerable communities in CAR and is one of the top ten donors to the country.
• In response to the current crisis in Gaza the Government approved funding of €500,000 to UNRWA’s Gaza Emergency Flash Appeal. This brings to just over €10 million total Irish Aid funding approved for Palestine to date in 2014. In total, since 2005, Ireland has provided over €88 million to Palestine.
• In response to the Ebola outbreak, Irish Aid has provided direct funding to date of €350,000 to organisations working on the national Ebola response in Sierra Leone and Liberia, which are both partner countries for Ireland.
• In 2013, Ireland provided over €94 million in emergency and recovery funding in response to humanitarian crises.
• Ireland is also one of the top 10 donors worldwide annually to the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) which ensures rapid and reliable humanitarian assistance to those affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts.
• World Humanitarian Day was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 2008, and was first observed in August 2009. The date of 19 August is the anniversary date of the 2003 bombing in Baghdad which killed 22 people, including the UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary General in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. More information about the day is available at http://worldhumanitarianday.org/
• As part of this year’s World Humanitarian Day, an online community will be launched. The “Messengers of Humanity” is a community of global advocates that will be called upon to take action on major crises and events by sharing inspiring content on social networks: http://www.messengersofhumanity.org/
• World Humanitarian Day will also be used to launch “Voices from the Field”, a series of powerful films profiling humanitarian workers who face enormous risks to bring help to the millions trapped in humanitarian crises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVNy8atdArU