Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D. and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon T. D. today announced €5.5 million in humanitarian assistance in response to humanitarian crises in the Lake Chad Region and the Central African Republic (CAR).
Ireland will provide €4.3 million to partners including the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross in response to the crisis in the Lake Chad Region. The crisis is affecting over 10 million people across North-East Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. A further €1.2 million will be provided to the UNHCR to assist refugees from CAR as well as internally displaced persons within CAR itself.
Announcing the funding, Minister Coveney said:
“In the Lake Chad Region violence perpetrated by Boko Haram, together with military counter-operations, have resulted in unprecedented displacement and humanitarian needs. Violence, coupled with longstanding underdevelopment and poverty, has had a devastating impact on countries of the Lake Chad Region and Central African Republic, resulting in suffering and unimaginable trauma for the people of these regions. Ireland strongly condemns violence perpetrated against innocent people.
"However, there are positive stories. The International Committee of the Red Cross, acting as a neutral intermediary, facilitated the return earlier this year of 82 girls who had been kidnapped from Chibok in 2014. The organisation is now working with authorities to reintegrate the girls into society. Positive stories like this are an important reason why we need to continue to provide humanitarian assistance in the Lake Chad Region and CAR.
Today’s funding announcement shows that Ireland is committed in its humanitarian response to those affected by the crises in CAR and the Lake Chad Region. We will continue to monitor these situations closely.”
Minister of State Cannon added:
“Ireland is deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis in North-East Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region, one of the most severe crises in the world today. Violence and insecurity has forced 2.4 million people to flee their homes. Over 7 million people across the region are food insecure, including tens of thousands at risk of famine in hard to reach parts of Nigeria’s North-East.
In CAR, a recent upsurge in violence has brought the country towards the brink of a new, large-scale humanitarian crisis. Over half of the population requires humanitarian assistance and more than 2 million people are food insecure. Violence continues to drive displacement, with over 100,000 people forced from their homes in May alone. Almost one million people – a quarter of the population – are now internally displaced or have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.”
Notes to the 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 visit www.irishaid.ie
Ireland’s 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.
In 2016, Ireland provided €5.8 million to those in need in the Lake Chad Region. New funding of €2 million will now be provided to the UN Pooled Fund for Nigeria, €1.5 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross and €800,000 to UNICEF.
Taking this new funding into account, we will have provided almost €5.2 million to this crisis in 2017, channelled through our UN, Red Cross and NGO partners.
Ireland has consistently contributed to the humanitarian response in CAR since 2008. In 2016, Ireland provided €6.2 million in humanitarian funding to the crisis. Taking this new funding into account, we will have provided over €5 million in 2017, including €3 million to the UN Pooled Fund for CAR, over €800,000 to our NGO partners on the ground, and €1.2 million to UNHCR for its response to the CAR crisis.
The UN OCHA Humanitarian Pooled Funds allocate funding in-country to a broad range of partners, including UN organisations, and national and international NGOs. The Pooled Funds form part of the Humanitarian Response Plan for each country and the funding is allocated to meet critical humanitarian needs ranging from food assistance to protection to livelihoods support.