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Ireland to provide €1 million in life-saving assistance in response to Nepal earthquake

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

 

Ireland will provide up to €1 million in life-saving assistance to families displaced by the recent earthquake in Nepal, 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, have announced.

The €1 million will provide assistance including food, shelter, water, hygiene and basic medical supplies for families displaced by the Nepal earthquake. This assistance will be provided through Irish Aid’s NGO partners, and will be targeted at the most vulnerable.

Speaking today, Minister Flanagan said:

“Reports to date indicate that the earthquake has left over 3,600 people dead and more than 6,000 people injured. Countless homes have been destroyed, and there are reports of villages in remote areas that have been devastated. We are also aware that hundreds of thousand are now currently sleeping in the open too frightened to return to their homes due to the dozens of aftershocks, including a 6.7 magnitude tremor which occurred yesterday.

“My Department established an Emergency Consular Response Team on Saturday. This team is leading our response in assisting citizens and their families and is working closely with our Embassy in New Delhi which is accredited to Nepal.

“The Department is aware of some 120 Irish citizens currently in Nepal and the vast majority of our citizens have now been accounted for. Communications remain difficult, and some citizens are believed to be in remote areas, so it may be several days before all citizens can be contacted.

“Our Emergency Response Team in Dublin and our consular team at our Embassy in New Delhi will be maintaining ongoing contact with citizens affected and their families for as long as assistance is required.”

Minister Sherlock said:

“We are monitoring the situation closely through our Embassy in New Delhi, which is accredited to Nepal, and through our UN and NGO partners operational on the ground. I am concerned that those in the most remote areas have yet to be reached and that the death toll may rise significantly.

"We are making available up to €1 million to provide life saving essential support for food, shelter and water. This assistance will be provided through Irish Aid’s NGO partners, and will be targeted at the most vulnerable.

“Irish Aid is also liaising with UN partners with a view to the deployment of highly skilled members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps to work with UN partners on the ground to provide expertise on logistics and coordination in this emergency response.

“This is a time of great concern to the family and friends of those who are in the region. However, efforts continue to trace everyone as soon as possible - we know this is a very distressing time for families who are waiting for news and my Department will be keeping in contact with them. Commercial flights are now operating out of Kathmandu, so citizens who wish to leave may be able to make arrangements to do so. Obviously there could be delays at the airport, there have been some intermittent closures, and we’re advising anyone going to the airport that conditions may be difficult and to bring food and water."

ENDS
Press Office
27 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 the Irish Aid website

• Anyone with concerns about friends or family in the region, should call the Emergency Consular Response Team on +353 1 4180200.

• The €1 million support being provided by Irish Aid will be made available through the Emergency Response Fund Scheme for Irish Aid NGO partners on the ground in Nepal and through the Irish Aid 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.

• 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.

• Irish Aid stockpiles non food items which are most in demand by people in crisis and emergency situations, including shelter and housing supplies such as tents, blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, and tarpaulins, and water supply and sanitation equipment such as jerry cans, water tanks, soap, squatting plates, latrines, as well as pickaxes, spades, ropes.

• The Emergency Response Fund Scheme (ERFS) is one of Irish Aid’s humanitarian funding mechanisms which pre-positions emergency funding with key partner NGOs for use in sudden onset emergencies.