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Minister Flanagan announces additional €2.5 million in funding to Gaza

Funding, Ireland, Irish Aid, Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Sean Sherlock, Press Releases, Ireland, Middle East and North Africa, 2014

The Government has announced an additional €2.5 million in funding to Gaza.

The announcement was made by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, in a speech to a major international conference on the reconstruction of Gaza today in Cairo.

The conference focused in particular on current humanitarian needs and the huge amount of reconstruction required in Gaza, but participants also addressed the critical need to prevent a repetition of the recent conflict.

Speaking in Cairo, Minister Flanagan said:

“The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire and it is clear that significant resources will be required to meet both immediate needs and longer term recovery assistance and reconstruction.

“Ireland will provide an additional €2.5 million towards the humanitarian response that will go towards both urgent immediate needs as well as long term recovery efforts.

“The conference provided an important opportunity to discuss how the underlying issues which gave rise to the recent conflict can be effectively addressed to ensure we do not have to go through such a harrowing cycle of violence again and to guarantee a better future for all Palestinians and Israelis.”

The conference, which has been organised jointly by the Governments of Egypt and Norway, is part of the international response to the recent conflict in Gaza. The conference was opened by President Al Sisi of Egypt, and attended by UN Secretary General Ban, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, US Secretary of State Kerry and as well as other international and EU Foreign Ministers.

In response to the current crisis in Gaza, Ireland initially provided €500,000 to UNRWA’s Emergency Appeal in July. This support is helping to provide urgently needed food, shelter and medical aid to thousands of families, many of whom have had to flee their homes. Ireland has now provided a total of €1 million to UNWRA for the current crisis.

Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion, and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, welcomed the reconstruction plan for Gaza that was presented in Cairo:

"The National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan, presented at the conference today, aims to move efforts in Gaza beyond immediate relief and towards longer term development. I welcome the unified efforts of all Palestinians behind President Abbas to plan for Gaza’s reconstruction and to work to end the divisions which have existed among Palestinians for too long."

Minister Flanagan delivered a speech on behalf of Ireland  - read in full here


ENDS

Press Office 

12 October 2014

 

Notes to the editor:

• 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.

• The €2.5 million additional funding is made up of:

o €500,000 in immediate humanitarian support for UNRWA through the UN Gaza Crisis Appeal.

o €2 million for longer term recovery assistance, to be disbursed over a two-year period 2015-2016, to established partners such as the Palestinian Authority and UN agencies.

• Total Irish Aid funding approved to date in 2014 for the Palestinian people amounts to €10 million, and includes support for the work of UNRWA (€5.5m), the Palestinian Authority (€3m), UN OCHA (€300,000) and civil society organisations (over €900,000).

• 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.

• Since 2005, Ireland has provided €35.65 million to the United Relief and Works Agency’s General Fund which provides the full range of social services including health and education services, to Palestinian refugees across its five areas of operation, including Gaza.

• Ireland has also been a generous supporter of UNRWA’s Gaza Emergency Appeals with over €5.1 million in humanitarian assistance provided since 2006.