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Minister Flanagan and Minister of State McHugh announce €3.9 million humanitarian funding

Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Joe McHugh, Irish Aid, Funding, Press Releases, Africa, 2016

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D. and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh T.D. have announced that the Government is to release €3.9 million of humanitarian funding in response to ongoing severe crises in the Central Africa Republic, Chad and Niger.

The Central and West Africa region is known for its serious humanitarian issues; driven by conflict and chronic food insecurity. These issues have been compounded in recent times by the broader security crisis caused by the Boko Haram militant group, which has spilled into a number of countries. 9.1 million people are currently in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in three countries affected by conflict, displacement and food insecurity: the Central African Republic, Chad and Niger.

Minister Flanagan stated:

“I am pleased to announce this further funding, which brings Ireland’s humanitarian support to Central and West Africa to over €16 million in 2016. Drought, floods and epidemics have become an all too familiar fact of life across the region, which has also seen the displacement of millions forced to flee from conflict.

This funding reaffirms Ireland’s commitment, along with our longstanding UN partners, to the continued funding support for crises which may have been forgotten by others”

The Irish Government has a specific policy commitment to target crises which do not receive global attention and which are significantly under-funded. In the case of the crises in the Central African Republic and its neighbouring countries; and in Chad and Niger; funding provided will ensure that refugees and displaced families have access to basic services and are protected.

Minister McHugh added:

“The humanitarian situation across Central and West Africa is particularly serious, with a total of 20 million people in need of assistance across the region.

This funding will aid Ireland’s experienced UN partners in their response for people in need, including immediate humanitarian assistance, protection, and livelihood support to vulnerable refugees, the provision of life-saving nutrition support to women and children affected by severe malnutrition, as well as livelihood support for the displaced, to assist in rebuilding their lives."

ENDS
Press Office
11 November 2016

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 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.

Of the funding announced, Ireland will provide €2,000,000 to the UNHCR for a regional refugee response programme for refugees affected by the conflict in the Central African Republic who have fled to neighbouring countries. The announcement also includes €500,000 which will be provided to UNHCR for refugees in Chad and €1,400,000 to UNICEF for provision of nutrition and protection services for children and women in Niger.

To date in 2016, Ireland has provided over €12 million to NGO partners, the Red Cross Movement, and UN agencies for their response to crises in the region, in addition to over €14 million in support provided in 2015.

So far in 2016, this support to the region has included over €4.8 million provided to partners for programmes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; over €4 million for programmes in the Central African Republic; €2.3 million for Nigeria, €770,000 for Niger, and nearly €250,000 for Mali.

Ireland has a specific policy commitment to target crises which do not receive global attention, and funding is granted to partners who are well placed to respond to the particular needs of each context but which are significantly under-funded.

As part of Ireland’s Rapid Response Initiative, Irish Aid maintains a roster of highly skilled and experienced individuals who are willing to deploy at short notice to assist in emergency relief and humanitarian efforts. To date in 2016, 36 rapid responders have been deployed into crisis and emergency situations around the world.

In 2016, two rapid responders were deployed to the World Food Programme’s humanitarian operations in Nigeria to provide support in logistics and engineering, and two were deployed to UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also in Nigeria to provide much-needed support in the information management and gender response areas.