NGO’s doing heroic Work in Sudan - Andrews
In advance of his mission to Sudan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr David Andrews, T.D., met today with the aid agencies active in southern Sudan. Howard Dalzell of Concern, John O’Shea of GOAL and Eamonn Meehan of Trocaire gave the Minister an account of their agencies’ experience in the famine stricken areas of Sudan. The Minister noted that it had been a good meeting and that he had listened with interest to proposals put by the agencies.
Speaking prior to his departure the Minister highlighted his determination "to see at first hand the terrible horrors being inflicted by this cruel famine on one and a quarter million people. I am going to the heart of the famine to highlight the conditions of these people and will, on my return, report to my EU colleagues on what I have seen. It is vital that the desperate plight of the people continues to be articulated in international fora, like the EU, and when I address the United Nations General Assembly next month I will seek the continued support of the international community for the people of Sudan"
"Ireland had contributed IR£ 6 Million to the region in the past five years and this year alone has given £2 million pounds to various organisations to ease the difficulties. The EU too has given a lot of money and my colleague Minister O’Donnell has been very active in highlighting the situation. My concern however is to ensure that the money is being used to the best effect; airdrops do not help those in most need, the elderly and the children, to the maximum extent possible. I would hope to be able to establish how the money available can be spent better."
"I would emphasize that I stand shoulder to shoulder with the Irish, and international, non-Governmental Organisations in the work they are doing. Their’s is a truly heroic response to this awful humanitarian crisis. I look forward to seeing the relief effort with representatives of Concern, GOAL and Trocaire"Top