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Ministers announce assistance for victims of floods and mudslides in Sierra Leone

Minister Simon Coveney, MoS Cannon, Press Releases, Africa, 2017

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon T.D., today expressed solidarity with those affected by floods and mudslides in Sierra Leone.   

Hundreds are believed to have died as a result of severe mudslides, triggered by heavy rains, which have hit communities on the outskirts of the Sierra Leonean capital, Freetown. While numbers of casualties have not been verified yet, at least 3,000 people are believed to have lost their homes and are in immediate need of emergency assistance and shelter.

Minister Coveney said:

I am deeply saddened by the deaths and destruction caused by the flooding and mudslides in Sierra Leone and extend my condolences to the people and Government of Sierra Leone. Through our Embassy in Freetown, we are liaising closely with our partners on the ground, including the Sierra Leonean Government, to ensure an effective and urgent response to this disaster.  Ireland's pre-positioned funds with NGO and UN partners are available for use to meet the needs of those affected.

I am pleased that a crisis alert of over €400,000 has already issued from the Start Fund to provide funding to NGOs to react on the ground.  We are working with the Government of Sierra Leone through our Embassy in Freetown, as well as with our other partners on the ground, to assess how best to provide further support to those affected by the tragedy. I expect to announce additional funding from our bilateral programme in Sierra Leone in the coming days.” 

The Start Fund is a humanitarian pooled fund which enables NGOs to access emergency funding in order to quickly respond to emergencies such as landslides or localised flooding. Ireland allocated €1.3 million to the Start Fund earlier this week. 

Last year, through its Embassy in Freetown, Ireland provided €6.64 million in bilateral development assistance through the UN and NGO partners in Sierra Leone.

Minister of State Cannon added:

My thoughts are with the families and communities affected by the mudslides. Ireland has actively engaged with Sierra Leone since the end of the conflict there in 2002. We have a strong history of support to the country, including during the Ebola crisis, and our UN, Red Cross and NGO partners on the ground are again working to assist those affected by this week’s events.”

ENDS

 

Notes to editors: