Tánaiste and Minister Fleming announce €1,000,000 in emergency assistance to Libya
Press release13 September 2023
The Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD, and Minister for International Development and Diaspora, Sean Fleming TD, have announceda contribution of €1million of Irish Aid support to the people of Libya who are experiencing a humanitarian crisis following the flooding of recent days. This funding will support the work of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The precise impact on the region is currently being assessed by authorities and partners on the ground but it is clear that in the area of Derna the floods have caused the collapse of two upstream dams. Initial and unconfirmed estimates indicate over 3,000 dead and thousands more missing - tens of thousands of people have seen their homes destroyed. As assessments continue, these figures are expected to rise in the coming days.
The Tánaiste said: “The Libyan people have already endured years of conflict, poverty and displacement and the crisis caused by this flooding, a direct result of the impact climate change is having in the region, will exacerbate the difficulties they are experiencing.
“Ireland stands in solidarity with the people of Libya and is providing immediate emergency humanitarian assistance. Funding from Ireland is facilitating a response at local level to those in desperate need.”
Minister Fleming said: “It is devastating to see yet another climate related disaster have such a crippling impact on North Africa and in this instance, the people of Libya. This €1 million allocation will support immediate and urgent humanitarian needs on the ground.”
The funds will support local communities most affected through the provision of emergency shelter, clean drinking water and food, mobile health care including psychological support, and hygiene centres through support of the local response.
This support is in addition to prepositioned funding of €2.4m already provided to the IFRC by Ireland this year as part of a three year MOU, which allows the Federation to respond immediately when a disaster strikes.
Notes for Editors
- Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development, is an integral part of the Department of Foreign Affairs
- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network. Their secretariat supports local Red Cross and Red Crescent action in more than 191 countries, bringing together almost 15 million volunteers for the good of humanity.
- In addition to supporting direct crisis responses as they arise, Ireland also provides annual core funding for the IFRC and funding for its pooled Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF). In 2023, a three year MOU was signed committing Ireland to providing a minimum of €2.4 million split evenly between core and DREF funding for the 2023-2025 period.
- The Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) is the quickest, most efficient and most transparent way of getting funding directly to local humanitarian actors—both before and immediately after a crisis hits. The DREF is a central pot of money through which we can release funds rapidly to Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies for early action and immediate disaster response.
- Ireland has also supported the IFRC to respond to individual emergencies through direct funding totalling €12m in 2023, and including the Türkiye Earthquake appeal, Pakistan floods appeal, the Ukraine response and most recently the Moroccan earthquake.
- The UN yesterday (12 September 2023) allocated $10 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for an urgent response to the floods in Libya. The UN in Libya has deployed emergency response staff and has mobilized assistance to people affected by the floods. The CERF allocation will support this emergency response. Ireland has provided €12.5 million to the CERF in 2023 and currently stands as its 10th largest donor.