Horn of Africa Crisis – Government Assistance to reach €7 million
Minister of State Lenihan announces an additional €2 million in funding for Horn of Africa drought crisis
David Andrews to report to Government on his visit to the region
Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, today announced that he is making available €2 million in addition to the €5 million already allocated earlier this year in response to the serious drought crisis affecting Kenya and other countries in the Horn of Africa.
Former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr David Andrews, who is travelling to the drought-stricken region in his capacity as Chairman of the Irish Red Cross, has agreed to report to the Minister of State on the prevailing situation there and how best to assist.
The Minister said:
“The situation in the Horn of Africa is deteriorating. Some eleven million people are now directly at risk from the effects of this worsening drought. Many of those affected are difficult to even access because of conflict and lawlessness in parts of the region.
“Swift assistance from the international community remains a priority and Ireland is playing its part.
“The €5 million in funding which I approved in February has all been provided to our NGO, UN and Red Cross partners. It is being used to help provide much-needed water and emergency food relief to the affected populations across the region.
“Having closely monitored the situation, I believe that further assistance is necessary. I have therefore allocated a further €2 million to bolster our efforts to bring relief to those in need.
“Today's funding allows us to assist two partners immediately. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is one of the few organisations which operated in Somalia throughout its conflict, a conflict that has now lasted some fifteen years. This provides them with unique access to war-affected populations who now also have to face the effects of this drought. Christian Aid Ireland is working with local partners in Ethiopia to provide much-needed water supplies to sustain vulnerable communities during the height of the drought.
“I will allocate the remainder of this pledge in response to our needs assessment of the evolving situation in the region.
“The UN is doing its part. US$30 million has been released from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) which has just recently been established. Ireland played a key role in the campaign to adapt the CERF to enable the UN to respond to crises like the one we are seeing evolve in the Horn of Africa. In addition, the UN will later this week issue an appeal for the affected countries.
“However, the needs remain great and I would make a renewed appeal to our partner countries and major donors to continue to provide life saving funding support to meet these urgent needs.
“In his role as chairman of the Irish Red Cross, David Andrews is travelling to the affected region. He undertook a similar mission to Niger last year. I am delighted that he has agreed again to report back to me following his visit. His assessment of the situation and the current international response will further highlight the needs in the region, deepen our understanding of the problems and help attract further attention to the emergency.”
6th April 2006
Estimates now put at eleven million the number of people directly affected by the current drought across five countries of the Horn of Africa region. Two years of successive failed rains have precipitated this crisis in the vulnerable area that converges in southern Ethiopia, northern Kenya, and central and southern Somalia. Parts of Eritrea, Burundi and Tanzania are affected by the same phenomenon. Pastoral communities are hit particularly hard by the failed rains, as the death of their livestock leaves them with nothing to exchange for survival.
Horn of Africa Humanitarian Assistance package, April 2006
Country Organisation Amount
Somalia ICRC €800,000
Ethiopia Christian Aid Ireland €200,000
Remaining €1 million to be allocated on basis of needs assessment.