Minister Peter Power highlights Ireland’s Rapid Response Initiative in response to Humanitarian Disasters
Irish Aid Annual Report shows 50% increase in humanitarian funding
Rapid Response Corps puts Ireland at Cutting Edge of Disaster Relief
The Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power TD, today launched the Irish Aid Annual Report for 2007 at the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre on Dublin’s O’Connell Street. Launching the Annual Report, which highlights Ireland’s contribution to global humanitarian response efforts, Minister Power said:
“The new Rapid Response Corps now forms an integral part of
our aid effort.
Improving our response to international humanitarian emergencies was at the forefront of Irish Aid’s work in 2007; a year in which we responded more swiftly, more flexibly and with greater innovation than ever before. The Rapid Response Corps has been deployed in 14 countries to date.
Last year Irish Aid provided over €140 million to meet the needs of people affected by humanitarian crises in over 45 countries. This represents a 50% increase in funding from the previous year and places Ireland as the world’s fifth most generous humanitarian donor per capita. Our Rapid Response Initiative means that we have never been in a better position to assist in saving lives and alleviating the suffering of the most vulnerable people, during and in the aftermath of humanitarian crises.”
As part of the Rapid Response Initiative, a Rapid Response Corps of humanitarian experts was established to assist in international responses to disasters. In 2007, 52 volunteers were trained for the Corps and its members were deployed to carry out emergency response work in Somalia, Sri Lanka and Mozambique. Stockpiles of essential relief supplies, stored in the Curragh and Brindisi, Italy, were disbursed to emergency responses in Sudan, Pakistan, Burkina Faso, Mali and Uganda, and in response to the Peru earthquake.
Recently deployed members of the Rapid Response Corps attended today’s launch of the Irish Aid Annual Report and were thanked by Minister Power for their contribution to life-saving humanitarian work.
In 2007, Irish Aid also introduced a pilot funding scheme to assist our main NGO partners to respond more rapidly to international emergencies. The initiative provides Concern, Trócaire and Goal with their own rapid response fund which they can immediately access following an emergency.
Note to editors:
The 2007 Irish Aid Annual Report shows Ireland’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) reached €870 million last year. This included €210 million support for the work of development NGOs and missionaries, mainly in Africa.
Irish Aid became the sixth largest donor to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (or CERF), doubling its contribution to €20 million, in 2007. The CERF is a stand-by fund designed to improve the response of UN agencies to crises. In 2007, Ireland also joined the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Donor Support Group, becoming one of the core donors providing annual funding of more than €6.2 million.
Irish Aid humanitarian supplies will be on display in the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre until Friday 12th September. Copies of the Annual Report are also available at the Centre and on-line at www.irishaid.gov.ie.
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