Minister Cowen announces development grants in Eritrea and Ethiopia
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., during a visit to Eritrea and Ethiopia for EU ministerial business, took the opportunity to announce a number of Irish Government grants to development aid projects in both countries.
In Eritrea, the Minister confirmed that €300,000 will be given via the World Food Programme for emergency food relief.
The Minister said,
“I am acutely aware that, despite recent progress, there are still large humanitarian needs to be met in Eritrea. This assistance will provide an essential safety net to the most vulnerable.”
In Ethiopia, the Minister visited a community based HIV-Aids programme operated by the Medical Missionaries of Mary in Addis Ababa. The centre, established in 1992, is run by two Irish Sisters; Sister Carol Breslin and Sister Kate Young. This project is already funded by the Irish Government but the Minister pledged a further €10,000 to assist its disabled childrens’ programme. The Minister visited another project involving women entrepreneurs, many of whom are disabled, which is funded by the Irish Government in conjunction with the International Labour Organisation.
The Minister was also pleased to announce that Ireland will contribute €40,000 in response to a recent request for additional financial support for de-mining capacity in the Temporary Security Zone between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
At a reception in Addis Ababa, the Minister praised the work of Irish volunteers working in Ethiopia.
“I want to pay a special tribute to the over forty Irish missionaries and volunteers currently working in Ethiopia and to the contribution they and their organisations have made over many years to the development of this country and to fostering friendship between the peoples of Ethiopia and Ireland.”