Minister Costello announces funding for those affected by conflict in Central African Republic27 December 2013
Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD, has announced €2 million in funding to provide life-saving emergency assistance to civilians affected by the ongoing conflict in the Central Africa Republic (CAR).
The funding will be used to provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to the worst-affected communities.
Announcing the support, Minister Costello said:
“The ongoing conflict in the Central Africa Republic is having an appalling impact on the civilian population, who were already extremely vulnerable. Reports of widespread human rights violations including killings, rapes, kidnappings, and recruitment of child soldiers are very disturbing, as are increasing reports of sectarian violence.
“It is vital that all parties respect international humanitarian law, that civilians are protected, and that humanitarian access is provided for UN agencies and NGOs working in Central African Republic.
“Ireland has been a long-standing supporter to the Central African Republic, and has provided €12m to the UN Common Humanitarian Fund for CAR since it was established in 2008.”
Humanitarian needs in the country are vast, with the entire population of 4.6 million people affected by the crisis. The United Nations estimates that there are over 700,000 people displaced, including 230,000 refugees in neighbouring countries.
The funding announced by the Minister will be provided to a UN-administered fund. The fund will enable the UN to support aid organisations to reach two million people with food, water, shelter, healthcare and education.
The Minister also noted that he is carefully assessing the situation in South Sudan with a view to providing further humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict there, including those displaced by the current fighting.
27 December 2013
Notes for Editors:
- Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
- The Central African Republic (CAR) has been unstable since its independence from France in 1960. A protracted humanitarian crisis caused by the legacy of civil conflict and continuing instability has endured for more than a decade. The country has been in chaos since rebel leader Michel Djotodia ousted President François Bozizé in March this year.
- Following recent fighting which started on 5 December, an African Union peacekeeping mission, acting under a UN mandate, is responsible for the restoration of security in the Central African Republic. In addition up to 1,600 French troops are being deployed.
- Ireland has been a long-standing supporter of the UN Common Humanitarian Fund for CAR since it was established in 2008. To date Ireland has provided €12m to the Fund, including €2 million in 2013, allowing the UN and NGOs present in the Central African Republic to undertake life-saving work with the most vulnerable communities. This latest provision of funding will bring Ireland’s total contribution to the fund to €14m.