Government announces additional €2 million for Earthquake relief efforts and €1 million for the victims of of Tropical Storm Stan
The Government has announced additional funding of €2 million to assist with immediate relief efforts in Pakistan and surrounding countries, bringing to €3m the amount made available for the region in the aftermath of the earthquake.
The Government made an initial pledge on Saturday of €1 million to assist with immediate relief efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake which has hit northern Pakistan and the adjacent region. The earthquake measured approximately 7.6 on the Richter scale and some of the aftershocks measured between 5.7 and 5.9. Widespread devastation of towns and villages has caused many casualties. It is widely feared that many of these casualties are children.
The Government has now pledged an additional €2 million to bring to €3 million Irish Government funding for disaster relief efforts. The Government is allocating €1 million of this funding to UNICEF which had mobilised quickly and released its pre-stocked relief supplies of blankets, children's clothing, plastic sheeting, water purifications tablets and high protein biscuits. UNICEF has been operating in Pakistan since 1947 and has staff and supplies in-country. A UNICEF convoy is en route with other essential supplies.
Additional assistance will be available based on emerging needs assessments for UN Agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent family, and non-governmental agencies active on the ground.
Making the announcement, Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, Mr Conor Lenihan T.D., said:
“Estimates for fatalities in Pakistan are now reaching 20,000 and some estimates put the figure much higher. Lives have also been lost in India and Afghanistan. Many people will have been left homeless and many others may still be missing and trapped in collapsed buildings.
There is a particular concern that many of the casualties were children caught in collapsing schools at the start of the school day. We are allocating €1m to UNICEF which has been in the front line of recovery efforts since the earthquake struck.
The initial needs will be for food, shelter and other basic requirements. Our funding will also be available for the Red Cross and Red Crescent family which is very experienced and is present on the ground through its local networks. Funding will also be provided if necessary for coordination of the humanitarian effort through the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and for other needs as they become clearer.
We will continue to closely monitor the ongoing situation in order to ensure that our assistance can be effectively targeted”.
The Irish Government has made a second pledge of €1 million to assist in relief efforts in Central America following the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Stan.
Minister Lenihan said:
“In Central America severe flooding has and continues to deluge vast areas of Central America, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Families have been forced to flee their homes, watching entire villages being swept away by swollen rivers and mudslides. Ireland will make funding available for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Federation of the Red Cross and NGOs supplying disaster and emergency aid on the region.”
10 October 2005