Minister for Trade and Development Costello pays tribute to outgoing Concern CEO Tom Arnold05 March 2013
Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD, today paid tribute to Tom Arnold, outgoing Chief Executive of Concern Worldwide, for his tireless work to end poverty and hunger.
Speaking ahead of an event this evening to mark Mr Arnold’s retirement from Concern, Minister Costello said:
“Tom has led Concern with passion, drive and commitment for a decade. The respect in which he is held in Ireland and around the world bears testament to the enormous contribution he has made to the improvement to lives of the world’s poorest people.
Tom spearheaded Concern’s response to major disasters over the last decade, including the Asian tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, the Pakistan floods, and the East African food crisis. He has also played a key role in helping to shape Government policy on development aid, in particular as a member of the Irish Hunger Task Force. Concern will remain a valued partner for Irish Aid – both in delivering programmes with Irish Aid’s support and in advancing policy to assist the world’s poorest communities to build a brighter future.”
Tomorrow, Minister Costello will address the Alliance 2015 Roundtable meeting on resilience and nutrition, hosted by Concern, in Dublin. At the meeting, he will set out how Ireland plans to work throughout our EU Presidency to improve efforts to tackle hunger and under-nutrition and to boost vulnerable communities’ ability to withstand natural disasters or crises.
“While we cannot stop shocks and natural hazards from happening, we can – and must – do more to help vulnerable people and countries to withstand them. Last year, I travelled to Ethiopia, where I saw the Productive Safety Nets Programme, which provides predictable transfers of income or food in exchange for labour on public works. This programme, which is supported by Irish Aid, protects some seven million of the most vulnerable people from hunger,” Minister Costello said.
“Climate change and environmental degradation are already increasing the risk of hunger and under-nutrition for the families eking out a living in the riskiest environments. Next month, my department will co-host a major conference in Dublin to discuss these linked challenges and learn from the experiences of local people on the frontline of hunger and climate change. We will draw upon the experience of Irish Aid funded programmes in Lesotho, Ethiopia and Malawi to illustrate how local engagement and local solutions can help address global challenges.
I look forward to hearing Alliance 2015 members and partners present concrete examples of programmes that are successfully addressing nutrition and resilience in less developed countries.”
For further information contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Office, Irish Aid Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 01-4082653 or 087-9099975
Note for 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 and Trade.
- Alliance 2015 is a partnership of seven European Non Government Organisations, including Concern, with a shared commitment to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
- Its members work together across 78 developing countries, sharing skills, resources and learning in order to be more effective in tackling poverty around the world.