Irish Support for Global Responses to COVID-19 Reaches €123 Million
Press release17 August 2020
With the World Health Organisation expressing concerns regarding the acceleration of COVID-19, Colm Brophy T.D., Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, today underlined Ireland’s important contribution to the global COVID-19 response.
Minister Brophy said:
“This virus is probably the biggest global challenge of our lifetime. To be safe at home in Ireland means that we must also work to help others be safe where they live too. That is why the Government, through Irish Aid, has invested €123 million to date in the international response to the pandemic, since being the first country to respond to the WHO’s global appeal last February.
That investment is helping save lives across the globe through strengthening health care systems, the provision of PPE, vaccine research and in ensuring that those most affected get access to food and other essentials.
Our support goes beyond money. Irish influence is helping shape the international response, with Irish officials leading the donors to both the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund as together they built their global emergency response strategy.
In Mozambique, Irish expertise is helping shape the Mozambican Government’s own COVID-19 response, building on a long-term relationship between the Embassy of Ireland in Maputo, the HSE and the Mozambican Health Ministry. This includes quality improvement training in 14 hospitals, with Irish experts remotely guiding the application of COVID-19 protocols. Irish diplomats are also organising the international donor support to the health systems in Liberia, Zambia as well as Mozambique.
Using the experience gained in Irish Aid’s effective response to the Ebola crisis, Irish Aid is supporting Concern Worldwide, GOAL and Trócaire to work in an innovative partnership with the European Union to strengthen basic health care in Sierra Leone and, in particular, to ensure that vulnerable teenage girls who are out of school are protected.
This experience which will stand to us when we take our seat on the Security Council in January, when the challenges arising from the pandemic will continue to resonate, particularly in conflict affected countries.”
16 August 2020
Notes to Editors
- To date, Ireland has allocated over €123 million to the global COVID-19 response, providing €46.5 million to enable our partners – the UN, WHO, NGOs and partner countries – to respond directly to COVID-19 on the ground, as well as fast-tracking €76.8 million of other funding to partners to help them to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. Ireland has also made an additional pledge of €18 million for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, for the period 2021-25 (a 20% increase).
- Ireland is part of the European Union’s #TeamEurope global response to COVID-19, which has mobilised more than €35 billion to date and focuses on countries that are already fragile and highly vulnerable. Ireland’s Embassies in Africa work closely with EU Delegations and other EU Member States to ensure the maximum effectiveness and coherence of our Team Europe response on the ground.
- Given the interconnectedness of the COVID crisis, Ireland has been a consistent and strong advocate for a coherent international response. Ireland was the first country to respond to the WHO COVID-19 Appeal. Through our Embassies in Africa, we have supported UN Resident Coordinators to enable the multilateral system to deliver as one.
- Ireland’s development cooperation in Mozambique, with a budget of €24 million in 2020, focuses on reducing poverty and inequality; improving access to essential services, particularly health and education; and promoting peace and strengthened governance. Ireland has supported the strengthening of Mozambique’s healthcare system since the early 2000s, primarily through the health sector pooled funding mechanism, PROSAÚDE. Since 2014, Ireland’s Health Service Executive and Mozambique’s Ministry of Health have a partnership. This strong track record in strengthening Mozambique’s health system has enabled Ireland to play a leadership role in coordinating international action to support the Government of Mozambique’s COVID response.
- Ireland has provided ongoing support to Mozambique’s peace process since 2018, including through the provision of key technical expertise from the Defence Forces to the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) process. One year after the signing of a historic peace and reconciliation agreement between the Government of Mozambique and opposition party, RENAMO, ten percent of RENAMO combatants have been demobilised and have returned to civilian life, despite the additional challenges to the process caused by the COVID pandemic.
- In Sierra Leone, Ireland’s development cooperation programme focuses on the empowerment of women and girls, with a budget of €9.6 million in 2020. Ireland is working with UN Women to strengthen gender aspects of the national COVID-19 response plan and with UNFPA to support schools as safe spaces for girls. Ireland has also provided support for awareness raising and hand-washing facilities in schools, and food assistance in COVID treatment centers and for vulnerable households in Sierra Leone. Ireland has provided €1,215,000 to a consortium of Irish NGOs (Concern Worldwide, Trócaire and GOAL Global) for COVID-related humanitarian response as part of Team Europe’s support to Sierra Leone.
- Ireland is also actively engaged on the ground through its Embassy network in supporting the COVID response in Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- In 2019-20, Irish officials chaired the ICRC Donor Support Group and, separately, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, who together helped shape the Global Emergency Response.
- Ireland’s international development policy, ‘A Better World’, is guided by an overarching commitment to reaching the furthest behind first, with a focus on: prioritizing gender equality, reducing humanitarian need, climate action, and strengthening governance.