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Minister Coveney announces €2.4 million Irish Aid response to Ethiopia Humanitarian Crisis

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D., today reiterated his continuing grave concern at the effects of the ongoing conflict in Tigray Region, Ethiopia, calling for all parties to make every effort to protect civilians, to respect international humanitarian law, and to allow humanitarian access.  He announced Irish Aid funding of €2.4 million to support the humanitarian response to the crisis.  

Minister Coveney said:

“I am deeply concerned about the conflict in Tigray, including the reported atrocities, ethnic profiling, and the humanitarian consequences.  Continuing hostilities could threaten wider regional stability.  I continue to call on  all parties to cease hostilities, respect international humanitarian law, and begin dialogue.  I am engaging with African and other international actors in this regard, including in support of the efforts of the African Union.

I am particularly perturbed by the impact of the conflict on the people of the region, with tens of thousands displaced and many more going hungry and at risk.  Irish Aid is providing €2.4 million to help alleviate their situation.”

Colm Brophy T.D., Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, added:

 “Ireland has a longstanding relationship with Ethiopia.  The Irish Aid emergency funding announced today will assist Concern, Goal and Trócaire, as well as other humanitarian organisations, to meet the needs of people affected by this conflict, including refugees and internally displaced people.  It is an important statement of Ireland’s continuing solidarity with the people of Ethiopia.”

Ireland’s funding of €1.4 million within Tigray Region will support the valuable work of organisations including Concern, GOAL, Trócaire and Save the Children in providing emergency assistance to communities affected by the conflict.  Further funding of €500,000 to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, will support the refugee response in Eastern Sudan, where an estimated 46,000 Ethiopians have fled the conflict in Tigray.  In addition, Irish Aid is working with its NGO and UN partners on the transfer of vitally needed emergency relief supplies to a value of almost €500,000.





Notes for Editors

  • 850,000 people were dependent on humanitarian assistance in Tigray before the conflict. The UN estimates that an additional 1.1 million people will require assistance due to the conflict, which is having a devastating impact on civilians since it started one month ago.
  • Conflict between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the regional authorities in Tigray began four weeks ago.  There are credible allegations of mass casualties, including civilian casualties, and of human rights abuses. Minister Coveney has called on all parties to ensure protection of civilians, to respect international humanitarian law, and to uphold the human rights of all Ethiopians. He has also condemned identity-based attacks.
  • Ireland is strongly supportive of regional efforts to try to find a resolution to this crisis, including the African Union’s appointment of three Special Envoys.  The Department of Foreign Affairs engaging with regional actors in this regard, including through the Embassies of Ireland in Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Pretoria, and through Ireland’s membership of the European Union.
  • Ireland’s largest bilateral development cooperation programme is in Ethiopia. This funding being provided to the Tigray crisis consists of €1 million to Irish NGOs Concern, GOAL and Trócaire, €416,000 to an NGO consortium led by Save the Children, €500,000 to UNHCR to support refugees who have fled to Eastern Sudan as well as well as almost €500,000 in vitally needed emergency relief supplies and humanitarian stocks.
  • Ireland will join the United Nations Security Council as an elected member on 1st January 2021, for a two year term.

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