LIZ O'DONNELL APPROVES EXTRA £200,000 FOR VICTIMS OF HURRICANE MITCH
Ms. Liz O'Donnell, T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Overseas Development Assistance and Human Rights, today approved additional emergency funding of £200,000 for the victims of Hurricane Mitch in Central America.
This brings to £400,000 the amount given by the Irish Government to disaster relief in the region.
" Given the scale of the disaster caused by one of the worst storms this century and in light of new appeals, we are providing additional emergency funding to assist the ongoing relief effort. We have all seen the harrowing images of the floods and mudslides which have caused havoc in the region. Over four million people are suffering from the effects of the storm with the most immediate threat being one of disease. There is an urgent need for emergency humanitarian assistance particularly with regard to medical assistance. The grant announced today will go towards meeting these needs. As always our Irish NGOs are making heroic efforts to assist the victims" said Minister O Donnell.
The additional grant announced today will be disbursed via Trocaire and APSO who have teams operating on the ground, and to the World Health Organisation for its programme to control communicable diseases with epidemic potential.
Similarly, The European Commission has announced that it is ready to double the more than £7.8million allocated to the relief effort. The European Union and its individual member states have donated more than $84 million in total.
The Minister added "The capacity of heavily indebted countries such as Nicaragua and Honduras to meet their debt obligations, is now hopeless. Total debt in the region is approximately 17 billion US dollars. This requires an urgent international response including the possibility of a debt moratorium on immediate debt payments and addressing long-term debt needs."