Kitt responds to growing crisis in Ethiopia
Allocation of €2 million Government food aid package announced. Minister Kitt to visit Ethiopia.
The Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Overseas Development Assistance and Human Rights, Tom Kitt TD, today allocated €2 million for emergency food aid for Ethiopia. The Minister's announcement comes after he held urgent discussions with leading Irish non-governmental organisations regarding the growing food crisis which threatens up to 14 million people in Ethiopia.
In making the announcement the Minister noted that “the level of suffering in Ethiopia will be worse then that experienced in 1984 unless the international community acts quickly. In October I announced €1 million in assistance for Ethiopia, but given the growing crisis, I have today doubled that assistance to €2 million. I will discuss the growing crisis in Ethiopia with my colleagues at today's meeting of EU Foreign and Development Ministers in Brussels. The scale of the problem is so large and the situation has deteriorated so rapidly, that a coordinated and concerted international response to this tragedy is imperative.”
The Minister also said that he would visit Ethiopia next January and that the Government was prepared to provide more assistance in the coming months. Minister Kitt will this week send an Ireland Aid team to Ethiopia to coordinate the Government's assistance with the Irish Embassy in Addis Ababa, the United Nations and with Irish NGOs. The €2 million aid package includes a grant of over €1 million to the UN World Food Programme for essential food relief as well as contributions to Concern, GOAL and UNICEF.