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Ireland dispatches vital supplies to refugees from Central African Republic

Irish Aid, Minister Joe Costello, Press Releases, Africa, 2014

Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD, has announced that Ireland is dispatching tents, blankets, and other vital supplies to assist refugees in Cameroon who have fled the violence in the Central African Republic. The stocks will be distributed by Plan Ireland.

The airlift, worth almost €200,000, is being sent from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Accra, Ghana, where Irish Aid pre-positions supplies for use in global emergencies.

The supplies are in addition to more than €3 million in funding so far in 2014 to support UN agencies and NGO partners to provide food, water, shelter, healthcare and education to the most vulnerable people in the Central African Republic.

Minister Costello said:

“I continue to be gravely concerned about the impact that the violence is having on the civilian population, in particular the plight of refugees who have fled to Cameroon. This situation demands a determined response from the international community. This contribution of stocks will help alleviate the suffering of those forced to flee their home country.

“The World Food Programme and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees have said up to 2 000 people a week have been crossing into neighboring Cameroon, many of them wounded in sectarian clashes and suffering from malnutrition after weeks hiding in the bush. Last Wednesday, the United Nations food aid and refugee agencies appealed for funds to cope with a growing humanitarian crisis in Cameroon caused by thousands of refugees fleeing the Central African Republic.”

The UN estimates that there are almost 557,000 people displaced within Central African Republic.  Some 2.5 million people are in immediate need of humanitarian assistance and the entire population of 4.6 million has been affected by the ongoing crisis.

The Minister also condemned the recent attacks on humanitarian agencies in the Central African Republic:

“Ireland condemns in the strongest possible terms recent attacks on humanitarian personnel as they seek to deliver lifesaving assistance to the most vulnerable populations.  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 CAR and neighbouring countries.”

ENDS

Press Office

13 June 2014