Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore, T.D., and Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello, T.D., today announced €6.5 million in funding to support the United Nations’ life-saving work in Sudan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.
Each of these countries is suffering a serious humanitarian emergency, affecting millions of people.
Of the €6.5 million:
€1.5 million in funding will be provided to South Sudan, where 20% of the population is undernourished;
€1 million is for programmes in Sudan, where more than 6 million people need urgent assistance;
€2 million will be provided to Somalia, where malnutrition rates are amongst the highest in the world;
€2 million has been allocated to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where 2.7 million have been forced to flee their homes due to ongoing conflict.
The funding will be channeled through UN-managed funds in each country to provide life-saving assistance to those most affected by war and conflict. It is drawn from Irish Aid’s 2014 budget for emergency assistance.
The Tánaiste said:
“This funding will help to provide clean water, food and shelter to some of the millions of people who are in desperate need. Because of the sheer scale of the humanitarian emergencies they are suffering, all four countries are a priority for Ireland.
In South Sudan, the world’s newest state, one out of every seven children dies before the age of five, and there has been increased suffering and uncertainty as a result of the violence of recent months. In Somalia, two years after the famine which killed tens of thousands, it is now feared that more than two million people may not have enough food to survive this year. Tackling hunger and malnutrition is a priority for Ireland’s aid programme.”
Minister Costello said:
“Ireland will work to ensure that the international community does not forget the world’s poorest people who are suffering the effects of poverty, conflict and neglect in these countries.
Through The UN’s Common Humanitarian Fund, Ireland can meet urgent needs in countries where we do not have a presence on the ground and where few agencies are working. Our support is timely and targeted support at those who need it most.”
02 March 2014
Note to editors:
• Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
• South Sudan is the world’s newest but also one of its poorest states. It lacks basic services such as safe water, sanitation facilities and health services.
• Sudan is ranked 171 out of 187 countries on the UN Human Development Index. Within Sudan there are over two million internally displaced persons, with 6.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. The country features high levels of malnutrition and a severe lack of infrastructure and basic services.
• Somalia, two years after the famine which killed tens of thousands in the country, remains extremely fragile. It is feared that up to 2.3 million people may not enough food to survive this year. Malnutrition rates are amongst the highest in the world.
• The Democratic Republic of Congo consistently lies at the bottom of the UN Human Development Index as it continues to undergo one of the most enduring humanitarian crises in the world.
• Common Humanitarian Funds (CHFs) are country-based pooled funds that provide early and predictable funding to NGOs and UN agencies for their response to critical humanitarian needs.