Minister of State Kitt Welcomes Signing of Liberia Peace Agreement
Mr. Tom Kitt T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, has welcomed the signing of the peace agreement (on Monday night, 18 August) between the Government of Liberia, the political parties and rebel groups. In welcoming the agreement, he announced details of the disbursement of the Government's €2 million humanitarian assistance package for Liberia.
Minister of State Kitt said the peace settlement is an important step towards ending 14 years of near constant civil war in the shattered West African country, where 85 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. He noted that the security situation remains volatile and continues to hamper relief efforts. However, with the deployment of the multinational force to Liberia and with the main protagonists now gathered around the negotiation table, the opportunity for peace should be seized. He said that a comprehensive response by the international community is critical to the success of the peace process and Ireland would play its role by targeting humanitarian assistance at the estimated 450,000 people who have been displaced by the conflict in Liberia.
As part of the Government's €2 million humanitarian package, €1.1 million has been allocated by Development Cooperation Ireland (DCI) to Irish NGOs working in Liberia, as follows:
€400,000 has been allocated to Trocaire, whose on-going work in Liberia is divided between supporting emergency assistance to displaced Liberians as well as developing the capacity of civil society organisations to empower and facilitate restoration and effective functioning of democratic processes in the immediate post conflict period.
€250,000 has been allocated each to Concern and Oxfam Ireland for their work in meeting critical public health and sanitary needs of internally displaced persons in makeshift camps, mainly in Monrovia. €200,000 has been allocated to World Vision Ireland for its emergency healthcare activities.
A number of international agencies have also received support from DCI:
€300,000 has been allocated to UNICEF for projects which include rehabilitation of malnourished children, immunisation, and support to primary healthcare. €200,000 is being provided for the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Activities (UNOCHA) – this organisation is responsible for coordinating the overall humanitarian response, a critical role in Liberia given the wide range of international organisations expected to respond to the crisis. €250,000 has been provided to the Red Cross (ICRC) for its relief activities and €150,000 has been allocated to the International Rescue Committee (UK) for an emergency health programme.
Note for Editors:
Development Cooperation Ireland (DCI) is the Government of Ireland's programme of assistance to developing countries. Further details on the programme are available at www.dci.gov.ie