Minister of State Conor Lenihan TD signs agreement with UN World Food Programme
Irish Aid Agreement with the World Food Programme
First Stage in Ireland's Rapid Response Initiative
Ireland today signed an important agreement with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to put in place vital equipment and supplies for emergency responses to humanitarian disasters.
Conor Lenihan TD, Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, signed the agreement with James Morris, Executive Director of the WFP. The agreement marks the first step in the roll out of Ireland's Rapid Response Initiative, as set out in the recent White Paper on Irish Aid.
Under the terms of the agreement, Irish Aid will fund
• The pre-positioning of significant levels of humanitarian supplies at the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) located at Brindisi, Italy; with further pre-positioned stocks to be located at the Curragh Camp.
• The supplies at Brindisi will comprise of shelter and housing equipment (kitchen sets, blankets, plastic sheeting, tents, mosquito nets and water supply and sanitation equipment) sufficient for a village of 20,000 people. Similar materials will be stored at the facility in the Curragh.
• Funding of €1.5m will be made available in 2006 for the procurement and set up of the stores, to be in place before year end.
• Irish Aid will also contribute to improving the capacity of the UNHRD to respond to emergencies by providing a once off payment of €400,000 towards the expansion of the UNHRD network of supply depots, and annual funding of up to €400,000 towards the cost of operating the new UNHRD facility for Africa based in Accra, Ghana.
Note to Editors:
The Rapid Response Initiative comprises of three main elements:
• the pre-positioning of humanitarian supplies,
• the creation of an Irish register of experts in humanitarian relief to be deployed at short notice to assist emergency relief efforts, and
• the funding of emergency response capacity within the UN, Red Cross and NGO families.
UNHRD is the Rapid Response Base of the United Nations with the capability of sending emergency humanitarian relief items anywhere in the world within 24/48 hours. UNHRD is managed by the WFP and based in Brindisi, Italy.
13 October 2006