Government responds urgently to drought in Tanzania - a priority country for Irish Aid
Ms. Liz O'Donnell TD, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for Development Cooperation, today announced Irish Aid grants totalling £250,000 to meet emergency humanitarian needs in Sudan and Tanzania
Referring to Sudan the Minister said "A severe meningitis outbreak has already affected over 2,300 people and threatens to spread to other countries in the region. The Sudanese government, the International Red Cross and the United Nations agencies have appealed for urgent assistance to help contain the epidemic. This is a case where a rapid response by donors can make a difference and save lives. I have therefore today allocated £50,000 to the International Red Cross to undertake a mass vaccination programme". The programme also includes heightened epidemiological and laboratory surveillance, public information education activities and training of health workers.
"Over one million Tanzanians are facing hunger as a result of severe crop failure due to drought and I have allocated £200,000 in emergency funds towards an urgent World Food Programme appeal" said the Minister. Over the next three months the WFP plans to distribute 29,000 tonnes of food aid to 1.14 million people throughout the country.
Tanzania is one of Ireland's six priority countries in Africa and this year, IR£ 7.789 million will be spent by the Irish Government on development programmes there. This is an emergency grant however, to deal with drought and hunger.