Minister of State for Overseas Development expresses serious concern at on-going humanitarian situation in Burma
At a meeting of EU Development Ministers, Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power TD, expressed serious concern in relation to the on-going humanitarian situation in Burma/Myanmar. During the discussion, Minister Power outlined his belief that there is a humanitarian imperative on the Burma/Myanmar regime to fully cooperate with aid organisations. The Minister said:
“We must now see the Junta deliver on their promise. Access to the affected areas is crucial. It is unacceptable that the issue of access is still not fully resolved over three weeks after the catastrophe struck. The humanitarian imperative must be that aid is delivered to the survivors of the Cyclone as soon as possible”.
The Irish Ambassador in Malaysia attended a Pledging Conference, organised by the UN and the ASEAN countries, in Yangon on Sunday 25 May. While welcoming the apparent willingness by the military regime in Burma/Myanmar at the Yangon Conference to allow access to international relief supplies and aid workers, Minister Power stated:
“The test of the military Junta now is that they fulfil their pledge to permit the international community to carry out unhindered the work that needs to be done to meet the humanitarian needs of over 2 million people. These are the people, mainly in the Irrawaddy Delta, many of whom haven’t yet been reached and who haven’t received the aid they so desperately need. Once the scale of this unfolding humanitarian disaster has been more accurately assessed, the Irish Government is ready to respond further to help rebuild the livelihoods of those affected”.
Note to Editors:
Ireland has made an initial pledge of €1 million for emergency relief, which will be channelled through established partners in emergency response already active in the country. Humanitarian supplies have also been airlifted to Burma/Myanmar from Ireland’s special emergency stockpile and are now being distributed to those in need.
Ireland is also a major supporter and one of the driving forces behind the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) which is a fund designed to facilitate faster and more effective responses to humanitarian emergencies such as the current crisis in Burma/Myanmar. The CERF has already allocated a minimum initial US$20 million for humanitarian response to the cyclone-affected people in Burma/Myanmar. Ireland contributed €22.6 million to the CERF in 2008, bringing our total contribution since its inception to €52.6 million.
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