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Ireland to provide €2.75 million in funding to the Red Cross and the Red Crescent

Funding, Human rights, Irish Aid, Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Sean Sherlock, Press Releases, Ireland, Middle East and North Africa, 2015

 

Ireland will provide €2.75 million in humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations worldwide through the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and the Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, announced today.

The IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, reaching 160 million people each year through its 189 National Societies. The Federation coordinates relief operations to assist victims of disasters and combines this with development work to strengthen the capacities of its member National Societies.

Minister Flanagan said:

“In recent days we have seen yet again the tragic consequences of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

"Ireland is working on several fronts to address this. I want to pay tribute to the crew of the LÉ Niamh which is playing a vital role in efforts to save lives.

"The International Organisation for Migration has rightly underlined the importance of a wider, holistic approach which tackles the underlying causes of this crisis, including in the countries of origin and transit. This is exactly the approach that Ireland is taking. Today’s funding aims to do just that, by helping alleviate the terrible suffering of civilians caught up in the Syrian conflict and will help communities in Sub-Saharan Africa better respond to crises by improving food security, health and disaster preparedness.

"Of course, political efforts to address the issue at EU level must continue. I am in contact with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in relation to these most recent developments and will be raising them with EU foreign ministers at the earliest opportunity".

Minister of State Sherlock added:

“The bulk of today’s funding is to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund, a lifesaving tool that allows National Red Cross and Red Crescent societies quick access to urgent humanitarian funding in times of disaster.

“Last year, the Fund was used to respond to well over 100 emergencies across the world and helped close to eight million people including those affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the South Sudan refugee crisis, the Gaza war, and displacement caused by Boko Haram violence in Nigeria.”

ENDS

Press Office

10 August 2015

Notes to the 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.

• Irish Aid has funded the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) under successive two-year funding arrangements since 2002.

• This support will focus on a number of key areas, including funding to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (€1.1 million), the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (€750,000), the Irish Red Cross (€400,000), and core funding to the IFRC (€500,000).

• €1.1 million of the funding will go to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF), a pool of un-earmarked funding which can be used by the IFRC to guarantee immediate funding for Red Cross and Red Crescent societies emergency response to disasters. The DREF provides initial start-up funds and essential finance to national Red Cross/Crescent societies, allowing them to respond more rapidly to emergencies within their areas.

• In view of the huge needs related to the Syria crisis, and as part of Ireland’s pledge to support the Syrian people at the Kuwait III Syria pledging conference in March 2015 which Minister of State Sherlock attended, €750,000 of Ireland’s funding to the

IFRC will be channelled to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).

• Since 2009, funding to the IFRC includes Irish Aid’s contribution to the overseas operations of the Irish Red Cross. As in 2014, funding of €400,000 in 2015 will support the work of the Irish Red Cross in Niger to build the preparedness and response capacity of the national Red Cross society in that country, including through food security, health, social, disaster preparedness and disaster management initiatives and efforts to address local vulnerability to food insecurity.

• Core funding of €500,000 to the IFRC will support the functioning of the IFRC Secretariat, which in its turn supports, coordinates and represents the activities of local Red Cross/Red Crescent branches throughout the world.

• Funding the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will help to support the activities of local Red Cross and Red Crescent branches throughout the world.