Indian Earthquake: O'Donnell to Assess Irish Response
The Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Liz O'Donnell T.D., is to visit Gujarat shortly to assess the impact of the Irish-funded response to the Indian earthquake and to meet Irish aid workers there.
The Minister's announcement coincided with the allocation of the balance of the Government's initial IR£1 million emergency assistance which was approved in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Of this amount IR£250,000 was made available immediately to the International Federation of the Red Cross. The breakdown of the balance allocated today, following consultations with NGOs, is as follows:
Trócaire : £150,000
World Vision: £150,000
Edith Wilkins Hope Foundation £150,000
Christian Aid £100,000
In announcing the allocations, the Minister said, "The latest allocations follow very constructive discussions with NGOs on current needs and priorities. The scale of the disaster and the continued aftershocks have meant that the coordination and delivery of assistance to the vulnerable survivors have been enormous challenges. Today's package is a practical reminder of how much work remains to be done to ease the suffering in the area."
The Minister added that she plans to evaluate the Irish response on the ground during her forthcoming visit. "We must build on each experience in order to enhance our response to future disasters. This is an area we will be focussing on with the NGOs themselves in the current Ireland Aid Review".
Today's allocations bring the total response by the Irish Government to the Indian earthquake to IR£1,050,000 (IR£50,000 above the initial response of up to IR£1 million).