Minister of State for Overseas Development Peter Power announces €700,000 for de-mining and emergency humanitarian supplies
An Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha Preas Ráiteas
Department of Foreign Affairs Press Release
Preas Oifig, Teach Uibh Eachach, Faiche Stiabhna, Baile Átha Cliath 2
Press Office, Iveagh House, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.
Tel: 353 -1- 478 0822 Fax: 353 -1- 478 5942 / 475 7476
Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power, today announced funding of €700,000 for de-mining in Iraq and emergency humanitarian assistance for Yemen. The funding will be provided through Irish Aid, the Government’s programme of overseas development.
A total of €500,000 has been granted to the Mines Advisory Group to support their de-mining work in the northern Governorates of Iraq. Four decades of conflict have left the area heavily-contaminated with tactical minefields, unexploded ordnance, small arms and light weapons.
A further €200,000 will be provided in emergency humanitarian assistance to Yemen, where thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of clashes between rebel groups and the Yemeni Government in the north of the country.
This funding will be channelled through the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The UNHCR is assisting the authorities to open two camps to accommodate vulnerable displaced families, in addition to distributing urgent relief supplies.
The funding to UNICEF will support the provision of emergency water supplies and hygiene kits to displaced people and the construction of latrines and washing facilities. It will also contribute to UNICEF’s efforts to enhance access to education and provide psychological support to children affected by the conflict.
Announcing the funding Minister Peter Power said:
“Ireland is strongly committed to mine clearance and our support to the Mines Advisory Group will help make Northern Iraq safer for local families and the growing number of displaced people who are returning from central and southern Iraq.”
“Since 1992, the Mines Advisory Group’s work has directly benefited more than two million men, women and children living in 3,000 affected communities. The €500,000 that I am announcing today comes on top of €2.1 million which the Irish Government provided between 2006 and 2008 for this life-saving work. I am confident that our continuing support will contribute not only to saving lives, but to the longer-term rehabilitation of northern Iraq,” he said.
Speaking about the funding to UNICEF and the UNHCR, Minister Power said:
“The United Nations estimates that approximately 150,000 Yemeni people have been forced to flee their homes, the vast majority of whom are women and children.
They urgently need food, water, shelter, protection and access to basic education.”
“Ireland’s response to this humanitarian emergency is in line with our commitment to protecting the world’s most vulnerable communities. This funding will support Yemeni families to live with dignity and help children to access education and counselling at a time when their lives have been thrown into turmoil,” he said.
Note for the editor
· Irish Aid is the Government’s programme of overseas development. It is an integral part of the Department of Foreign Affairs
· For further information or to arrange an interview with Minister Peter Power, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, press officer, Irish Aid on 01-4082653 or 087-9099975
23 September 2009