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Minister Costello to make fact-finding visit to Gaza

Minister Joe Costello, Irish Aid, Funding, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, 2013

Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD will make a fact-finding visit to Gaza tomorrow, Wednesday 9 October, to see the situation on the ground and the humanitarian impact of the Israeli blockade on the people of Gaza.

He will meet relief agencies who are working to provide emergency food supplies to Palestinian refugees in Gaza, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), who provide food assistance to more than 800,000 refugees in Gaza. Minister Costello will visit the Nuseirat Distribution Centre, where he will see the impact of Ireland’s support to UNRWA. He will also visit the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

The Minister said:

“This is a time of cautious hope in the Middle East Peace Process, but it is also a time of increasing difficulty for many ordinary Palestinians, especially the people of Gaza. Tomorrow, I will meet Palestinian refugees in Gaza to hear their stories and hopes for the future.

UNRWA’s emergency food support provides the lifeline for thousands of refugee families and helps to prevent a large scale crisis in an area where more than one in two families are at risk of hunger.”

The Minister today held meetings in Ramallah with Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Prisons Minister, Issa Qaraqe’, the chief Palestinian negotiator Dr Saeb Erekat and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Riyad al-Maliki.
 

For further information, contact the Press Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on (+353 1) 408 2058/ (+353) 87 7788835.

Note to 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.
§  Ireland’s support to the Palestinian people over more than two decades reflects the Government’s longstanding commitment to justice for the Palestinian people and to the development of a viable, sovereign Palestinian state.
§  Political change and insecurity in the region is resulting in a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.