Government signs three-year deal with humanitarian agency

Agreement formalises relationship between Ireland and World Food Programme

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said the agreement to continue aid would resonate with Irish people, given the country’s history of famine. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said the agreement to continue aid would resonate with Irish people, given the country’s history of famine. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Mon, Apr 15, 2013, 15:50

The Government has signed a three-year strategic partnership agreement with the UN World Food Programme, the world's largest humanitarian agency.

The agreement will see a minimum contribution of €7 million a year from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, but also continued funding in response to humanitarian emergences from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello signed the agreement this afternoon alongside the WFP’s executive director Ertharin Cousin during the Hunger-Nutrition-Climate Justice conference, taking place in Dublin Castle.

Mr Coveney said he is delighted to sign the agreement and deepen Ireland’s relationship with the WFP.

“Given our history, hunger and famine are issues which resonate strongly with Irish people and I am proud that notwithstanding the recent downturn in our economy, we have been able to maintain our core contribution to the WFP at the same level in recent years,” he said.

Ms Cousin said the agreement underlines the support Ireland has given the agency over the years.

“We recognise that it is hard to give when times are tough at home but that makes this contribution all the more valuable to us as we continue our vital work among the world’s hungry poor.”

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