EU Commissioner Dr Kristalina Georgieva today delivered a keynote address on humanitarian aid at the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre, Dublin.
Dr Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, is in Ireland to address the ‘Development Matters’ lecture series, supported by Irish Aid. The series brings influential actors in global development to Ireland to address key challenges and emerging trends in international development.
Minister of State for Trade and Development Joe Costello introduced Dr Georgieva and described her as a champion of the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
Opening the lecture, Minister Costello said:
"The challenges facing the international humanitarian community are increasing daily: the frequency and severity of natural disasters mean ever greater numbers of people are in need of humanitarian assistance. At the same time, experience in Somalia and Sudan demonstrates a growing tendency for state and non-state armed groups engaged in violent conflict to limit humanitarian actors’ access to vulnerable communities.
I can assure you that Irish Aid will continue to provide flexible and timely funding to humanitarian organisations which have a clear capacity to deliver assistance on the basis of need. We will also focus on "forgotten emergencies" and vulnerable groups in countries such as the DRC, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone or Niger who are vulnerable to external shocks, whether natural or man-made, due to poverty, weak institutions and poor governance.
Earlier today I announced emergency funding of €5 million for the Sahel region of West Africa, where 10 million people are at risk from a huge and growing food crisis. This funding will provide vital emergency food assistance to thousands of vulnerable communities and malnourished children."
During her address, "Principles and Priorities Underpinning Humanitarian Aid", Commissioner Georgieva discussed the importance of strengthening the link between humanitarian aid and development policy, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of aid.
20 February 2012
For further information or to request an interview with Minister Costello, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 087-9099975.
Notes for the Editor:
· The ‘Development Matters’ lecture series is hosted by the Institute of International & European Affairs with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
· Today’s lecture is the third in the series. For further information, visit www.iiea.comor www.irishaid.gov.ie
· Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
· The Institute of International and European Affairs is a think tank and policy research institute based in Dublin. It acts also as a forum, bringing together stakeholders to discuss issues of national, European and international significance.
· Minister of State for Trade and Development Joe Costello earlier today announced Irish Aid would make available €5 million in humanitarian relief support to alleviate the crisis in the Sahel region in West Africa.