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Ireland provides increased humanitarian support in response to Nepal earthquakes

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

 

Ireland provides increased humanitarian support in response to Nepal earthquakes

Ireland is increasing its funding in humanitarian assistance to families displaced by the recent earthquakes in Nepal by €500,000 to a total of €1.5 million.

The announcement was made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD.

The increase in funding comes in light of increasing humanitarian needs which have become clear as a result of ongoing assessments by Irish Aid partners on the ground in Nepal.

The funding is being used to airlift an additional 51 tonnes of Ireland's pre-positioned emergency relief items of blankets, tents, tarpaulins, jerry cans, and other urgent supplies to assist families left homeless by the earthquakes.

An airlift was sent last weekend from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Subang, Malaysia, where Irish Aid pre-positions supplies for use in global emergencies.

36 tonnes of these additional relief supplies arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday and are being distributed by Concern Worldwide and Goal in the worst affected Nepalese Districts, focusing on survivors and vulnerable families. A further airlift of 15 tonnes will depart Malaysia later this week with relief items to be distributed by Christian Aid and its partners.

Announcing the airlifts, Minister Flanagan said:

“Ireland acted quickly to respond to the earthquake, but as the magnitude of this disaster has become clear, it is all too apparent that further assistance is required.

“Immediate threats to life include lack of shelter, lack of sufficient food, lack of access to sanitation and personal hygiene.

“Our pre-positioned emergency relief items and Irish aid is reaching communities who have been hit hard. We are providing temporary homes to thousands of people across Nepal and helping to meet their water and sanitation needs.

“This will support the Nepalese people to rebuild their lives and lay the foundations for the difficult road to recovery which lies ahead.”

Minister Sherlock said:

“It is crucial that the humanitarian response continues to be supported so that assistance can reach remote and most affected villages, and adequate support reaches those in need ahead of the monsoon season which starts next month.”

Minister Sherlock also announced that additional members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps are deploying to Nepal to work with UN partners on the ground.

“Two highly skilled members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps, a fleet manager and an electrical engineer, are deploying this week to work with the World Food Programme, and another will deploy next week to work with UNICEF on child protection.”

ENDS

Press Office
19 May 2015

Notes to Editors

• 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 15 May, the death toll is 8,567 with another 17,000 injured according to local authorities. It has been estimated that some 500,000 houses have been destroyed and 270,000 damaged across 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts. 117 deaths and 1961 injured have been reported in addition as a result of a second earthquake on 12 May.

• The Government of Nepal is leading the response efforts and has declared a state of emergency in the affected districts. The United Nations Resident 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 Ireland’s Rapid Response mechanism, and 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.

• 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.

• Of the 51 tonnes of these additional relief supplies, 36 tonnes arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday and are being distributed in the worst affected Districts of Dolakha, Gorkha, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap, Sindhuli, Rasuwa and Dhading, focusing on survivors and vulnerable families. A further airlift of 15 tonnes will depart Malaysia later this week with relief items to be distributed by Christian Aid and its partners in Gorkha.

• To date, 99 tonnes of Ireland’s stocks of relief items have been airlifted into Kathmandu from the Dubai and Subang hubs and are being distributed to displaced families by Plan Ireland, Concern Worldwide and GOAL. A further airlift of 15 tonnes is now being organised, also from the Subang hub, for Christian Aid to distribute. The total value of airlifting these 114 tonnes of stocks is over €1 million.