O'DONNELL ANNOUNCES £1.7M. AID PACKAGE FOR AFRICA
- Says situation in Angola a cause for concern.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Liz O'Donnell TD, has expressed concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Angola with reports suggesting that about 200 people are dying each day from malnutrition-related diseases.
Minister O'Donnell, who has responsibility for Development Co-Operation, today announced grants totalling £1.7m. to meet emergency humanitarian needs in Africa - including an allocation of £480,000 for Angola.
"The security situation in Angola has deteriorated even further in the last few months with government-held cities being beseiged by UNITA troops. This has resulted in an increase in the number of people in need, with many poor residents requiring immediate humanitarian assistance," Minister O'Donnell said.
She said the worsening security situation was also affecting the delivery of relief aid.
"Transportation of relief food by road is virtually impossible because of the upsurge in fighting and the high degree of insecurity. The only access is by air, significantly increasing the cost of supplying humanitarian emergency aid," she said.
The latest Irish Aid allocation to Angola will also help fund the rehabilitation of mine victims in the war-ravaged country.
"The UN estimates there may be as many as 75,000 people in Angola in need of prosthetic limbs. Because those without prosthetics cannot work, their families cannot afford to support them and, consequently, they are often forced to resort to begging. The ultimate aim of the programme is train local Angolan staff to take over the production of prosthetic limbs," Minister O'Donnell said.
The remainder of the £1.7m. funding allocation to Africa will go towards supporting post-conflict re-construction and development in Rwanda (£669,000), water and sanitation programmes in Sudan (£218,000), and agricultural and education projects in Somalia (£159,000).
"The UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, recently appealed to the international community to make a special effort to help the victims of conflicts and natural disasters in Africa. The grants announced today will go some way to alleviating these needs," Minister O'Donnell added.Top