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Tánaiste discusses Horn of Africa famine response with Mary Robinson

Irish Aid, Press Releases, Africa, 2011

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore T.D. met this afternoon with Mary Robinson to discuss the situation in the Horn of Africa.  Ms Robinson briefed the Tánaiste on her recent visit to the region.  She emphasised the urgent need for the international community to provide an effective and comprehensive response in order to save the thousands of lives that are now at risk. 

Following the meeting the Tánaiste said:

“I had a very useful discussion with Mary Robinson this afternoon. Mary briefed me on her visit to the region and on the scale of the humanitarian disaster that is unfolding.

This is the most severe humanitarian emergency in the Horn of Africa for decades and tens of thousands of people have already starved to death.  The humanitarian needs on the ground are enormous. 

Ireland’s support for the relief effort is saving lives, but much more is needed if the international community is to help save the thousands of vulnerable people now threatened by this famine.

In light of the assessment provided by Mary Robinson, I am considering what additional measures might be taken with a view to intensifying Ireland’s contribution to the overall relief effort”.


Note for Editors:
The Government has provided €5.6 million in support since the start of 2011 for victims of the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa.

€3.1 million has been provided to Concern, Trócaire, Goal and World Vision for emergency food, water, sanitation and healthcare in the Horn of Africa since the beginning of 2011. Today’s announcement brings to €2.5 million the funding provided to the United Nations for distribution to humanitarian agencies operating in the area.

11 members of Irish Aid’s Rapid Response Corps (RRC) are now working in the region. The RRC is a register of highly-skilled individuals who are willing to be deployed at short notice to assist in an emergency relief effort.