OVER £1 MILLION TO HELP IN HUMANITARIAN CRISES
Liz O'Donnell T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs has announced a £1 million package of humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance to displaced, poor and deprived communities in Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda, Papua New Guinea and India. "This decision reflects the priority given by Irish Aid to alleviating human suffering wherever it arises", the Minister said.
Minister O'Donnell described the current plight of displaced people in Kosovo as deplorable. "While working with the international community to find a political solution to the situation in Kosovo, we must also respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis. An estimated 360,000 displaced people are preparing to face the hardships of winter without adequate food, shelter or medical attention. The grants announced today will go towards the provision of emergency shelter, food and medical supplies." The grants destined for the Kosovo crisis will be disbursed through the International Committee of the Red Cross in the area.
Other grants announced include emergency assistance to the victims of the recent flooding in India (£75,000). This is in addition to assistance already given to flood victims in Bangladesh and China, "The recent devastating floods in India have left millions of people homeless and destitute and in urgent need of food and medical supplies. The assistance has been given in response to appeals launched by the United Nations agencies to alleviate the suffering of those affected by this year's disastrous monsoon", the Minister said.
The Government continues to help Bosnia and Rwanda rebuild their societies. Projects funded by Irish Aid include health (£44,000) and housing (£159,000) projects in Bosnia as part of the ongoing support for the peace effort, three rehabilitation projects in Rwanda (£451,000) and an education programme (£58,000) in Papua New Guinea.