Government to Seek Oireachtas Agreement for Additional Funds for Kosovo Asistance
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Andrews, T.D., announced today that the Government has agreed to move a Supplementary Estimate for £6.39 million to cover the costs associated with the provision of assistance to refugees from the conflict in Kosovo.
The Minister said
"There is an onus on us to respond as generously as possible to this continuing crisis as well as having the resources to respond to other emergencies which may arise over the rest of the year. The humanitarian evacuation of refugees from countries in the region, in particular Macedonia, has required that additional resources be put into the Refugee Agency so that the needs of the ethnic Albanian refugees coming here can be properly met. These include the provision of interpreter services, as well as the making available of additional settlement officers with the necessary experience in this type of work."
The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Refugee Agency, along with other relevant Departments and bodies, are continuing to make arrangements for the reception of the remaining refugees which Ireland is committed to taking. Following the visit to Macedonia last week by the Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Liz O'Donnell, T.D., it is intended to put proposals to Government shortly regarding the possibility of bringing additional refugees to Ireland.