Red Cross to get IEP 100 000 for humanitarian relief in Iraq
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr David Andrews T.D., announced today that an additional sum of IEP100 000 will be allocated to the International Committee of the Red Cross. This sum will be earmarked for humanitarian relief in Iraq. It is intended that this assistance will be used in the ongoing work of the Red Cross in areas such as medicines, war victims, prisoners' welfare and sanitation.
The Minister said: "This increase in our contribution to the Red Cross reflects, in concrete terms, the concern expressed last week by both the Taoiseach and myself that the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people should be urgently addressed and further suffering by them avoided."
In this context, the Minister welcomed both the ending of the air strikes against Iraq and the ongoing United Nations Security Council examination of a new approach to Iraq in the light of recent developments.
"Further military action should be avoided. It is my sincere hope that the current discussions in the UN Security Council on the situation in Iraq will address, as a first priority, the humanitarian aspects, including the immediate resumption and, hopefully, expansion of the "oil-for-food" programme," Minister Andrews said.
The Minister affirmed the Government's strong support for the efforts of the UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, both in the humanitarian field and also in facilitating a comprehensive review of the current sanctions regime. Such a review should lead to a reassessment of the role of the UN inspection system, in view of the existing linkages between that system and the maintenance of sanctions. Top