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Ireland airlifts emergency relief supplies to Nepal

Consular, Funding, Ireland, Irish Aid, Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Sean Sherlock, Press Releases, Ireland, Asia and Oceania, 2015

Ireland airlifts emergency relief supplies to Nepal

Ireland has dispatched thousands of blankets, tents, tarpaulins, jerry cans and other urgent supplies to assist families affected by the recent earthquake in Nepal, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, have announced.

Over 63 tonnes of Irish humanitarian supplies will be distributed by Irish Aid’s NGO partner Plan Ireland in the Kathmandu-Makwanpur area, focusing on those most severely affected, and those living in temporary settlements or in the open air since their homes were destroyed last Saturday.

The first of three airlifts, worth over €500,000 in total, is due to arrive shortly at Kathmandu airport, dispatched from the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai, where Ireland pre-positions supplies for use in global emergencies.

Announcing the airlifts, Minister Flanagan stated:

“According to latest estimates, eight million people have been affected by this massive earthquake, more than a quarter of the country’s population. The death toll now stands at over 5,500 people and a further 10,000 have been injured. We anticipate that the death toll will rise further.

“The Government of Nepal has requested international assistance and Ireland is responding to the best of our ability. These emergency airlifts will focus on the most vulnerable.

“My Department is monitoring the situation closely and, as needs assessments come in and a fuller picture of humanitarian needs emerges, we will consider what further assistance we can provide, including further stocks airlifts. We are also liaising with our UN partners to deploy highly skilled members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps."

The Minister added:

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Emergency Consular Response Team remains in place today. The Team is currently tracking some 160 Irish citizens, with contact yet to be made with 2 people. The team is in ongoing contact with citizens and their families, and can be contacted on 01 418 0200.”

Minister of State Sherlock said:

“Thousands are in need of shelter, water and food. We are working to ensure survivors get the help they need. As relief efforts continue in the city of Kathmandu and the Valley, the response is broadening to include areas such as Dhading and Gorkha and aid is beginning to reach these remote regions near the epicentre of the earthquake.

"We need to ensure that the right aid is delivered to the region to assist in the efforts in a meaningful way. These supplies are designed to have immediate impact and we are monitoring this situation closely."

ENDS
Press Office
30 April 2015

Notes to Editor:

• Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see www.irishaid.ie

• On Saturday, 25 April, 11:41 local time, an earthquake with of 7.8 magnitude and a depth of 2 km, struck Nepal near the capital city of Kathmandu. The epicentre is located 77km northwest of Kathmandu, and 68km east from Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest city.

• Eight million people have been affected by the massive earthquake - more than a quarter of the country's population of whom 1.4 million are in urgent need of food assistance.

• As of 30 April, the death toll is estimated at 5,500 with another 10,000 injured and hundreds still missing, according to local authorities. It has been estimated that some 70,000 houses have been destroyed and another 530,000 homes damaged across 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts.

• The Government of Nepal is leading the response efforts and has declared a state of emergency in the affected districts. The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator is coordinating international assistance on the ground.

• On April 27th, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, announced initial funding of €1,000,000 from Ireland to provide life-saving assistance to families displaced by the earthquake in Nepal.

• This funding is being made available through the Emergency Response Fund Scheme, one of Irish Aid’s humanitarian funding mechanisms which pre-positions emergency funding with key partner NGOs for use in sudden onset emergencies and through Ireland’s Rapid Response Initiative.

• As part of Ireland’s Rapid Response Initiative, Irish Aid pre-positions emergency humanitarian supplies within the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) Network of hubs around the globe. These hubs are strategically located near disaster-prone areas - in Accra (Ghana), Brindisi (Italy), Dubai (UAE), Panama City (Panama) and Subang (Malaysia) - within airport complexes, close to ports and main roads.

• The Rapid Response Corps is a roster of highly-skilled and experienced volunteers who make themselves available to deploy at short notice to work with Ireland’s UN partners as surge capacity in their humanitarian emergency situations. The Corps currently comprises over 90 individuals with specialised skills in logistics, engineering, water and sanitation, humanitarian coordination and protection.