Government announces funding to tackle food crisis in the Horn of Africa
The Government today announced a further €400,000 for emergency operations in the drought-stricken region of Horn of Africa.
Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan TD, approved the funding for CONCERN as part of an ongoing response operation by Irish Aid. The funds will be used to provide food rations for 10,000 of the worst-affected people in Somalia, as well as treating 1,800 malnourished children.
This brings to €4.4m the total emergency funding from Irish Aid to the region in 2011. In addition, 11 members of the Government’s Rapid Response Corps have deployed to the Horn of Africa to work with humanitarian agencies.
"The Government has been closely monitoring the situation in the Horn of Africa for a number of months,” Minister O’Sullivan said. “The region is experiencing the most severe food crisis in the world today. There has been a prolonged drought, and at least two seasonal rains have failed. More than 10 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda face severe food shortages”.
“During the first half of 2011 I approved funding of more than €4 million to agencies working in the region. Some €2.6 million was allocated to Concern, Trócaire, Goal and World Vision for emergency food, water, sanitation and healthcare, with another €1.5 million provided to the United Nations in Somalia for distribution to humanitarian agencies operating in that country.”
“The €400,000 approved for Concern today will help them provide food for thousands who would otherwise be at risk of starvation. We are also supporting their treatment programme for malnourished children in and around Mogadishu.
“Irish Aid officials are in daily contact with our partner agencies in the Horn of Africa, and we will continue to support them in the period ahead.”
5 July, 2011
For further information or to request an interview with Minister O’Sullivan, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 087-9099975.
Note to Editors
· Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas assistance. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
· Irish Aid maintains the Rapid Response Corps, a register of highly-skilled individuals who are willing to be deployed at short notice to assist in an emergency relief effort.
· In addition to emergency funding for humanitarian crises, Ireland provides support for long-term development work which is designed to equip communities to withstand climatic and other shocks. In Ethiopia, Ireland supports the Productive Safety Nets Programme, which offers cash or food in return for environmental works which help communities conserve water and improve agricultural productivity. This programme reaches over seven million people annually and ensures that they are properly nourished, while their environment is protected.
· Irish Aid also provides ongoing support to long term development programmes in the Horn of Africa implemented by Concern, Goal, Trócaire and Self Help Africa. These programmes are designed to increase poor families’ incomes by diversifying their opportunities to earn a living.
5 July 2011