Minister Kitt in Liberia for inauguration of New Transitional Government
Minister of State for Development Cooperation at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Tom Kitt T.D. is in Liberia today as part of an EU Troika Mission to attend the inauguration of the new Transitional Government. The establishment of the new National Transitional Government comes after the signing by all parties of the Accra Peace Agreement on the 18th of August.
Speaking after the inauguration the Minister said:
“The people of Liberia have endured enormous deprivation and hardship over the past number of years and I am proud the Ireland has and will continue to play a strong role in bringing peace and assistance to such a troubled country.”
The conflict in Liberia, coupled with chronic poverty, has left the people devastated. Hundreds of thousands of people have been uprooted from their homes and many have fled to neighbouring countries, disease and malnutrition is widespread and the country's infrastructure is all but destroyed.
Irish assistance to Liberia is targeted in the areas of greatest need, namely in the provision of basic services and the promotion of stability and security:
• In 2003 Development Cooperation Ireland provided over €2.5 million in emergency humanitarian assistance for the provision of basic services and care to the most vulnerable. This support will continue.
• Stability and security are essential to the safeguarding of lives and the rebuilding of livelihoods. Ireland will contribute peacekeeping troops in response to a direct request by the UN Secretary General Annan that Ireland should play a key role. Over 400 Irish troops will arrive in Liberia shortly.
Minister Kitt added:
“It is very early days in terms of Liberia's recovery and while the challenges facing this country are enormous, recent events at least provide some hope for the future. The setting up today of an internationally supported Transitional Government provides a basic framework to move forward and a chance for Liberia to build itself, politically, socially and economically. Ireland is here to help.”