Irish agencies report generous response


Irish agencies are continuing to receive a positive response to their fund-raising appeals for victims of the flooding in Mozambique. The Government, meanwhile, has donated £1.4 million.

However, Ms Graca Machel, the former Mozambican first lady married to Mr Nelson Mandela, described the international response as too little, too late.

The charities, including Trocaire, Concern, GOAL and Oxfam Ireland, say there is a steady stream of calls from people wishing to donate.

Concern, which has a team of 10 operating on the ground in Mozambique, has received a total of £634,000 from donors in the Republic and Northern Ireland since its appeal was opened.

The first planeload of supplies from Concern, carrying blankets, plastic sheeting, medicines and other essential items, is due to arrive in Beira this morning. Ms Sally Anne Kinahan, of Concern, said more money was needed to fund further emergency supplies.

A spokeswoman for Trocaire said the public had donated £200,000 to the agency since it opened its appeal last Monday. The agency has also allocated £100,000 from its emergency relief fund. The funds are being used to buy cooking pots and utensils for those receiving food from the World Food Programme.

"Shelter is also being provided for those displaced by the floods," the spokeswoman, Ms Celine Crawford, said. "Seeds and tools are being given to those whose harvests have washed away. There is a real race against time to ensure they can plant their crops by the end of March."

The director of GOAL, Mr John O'Shea, left Dublin for Mozambique on Monday, and three more representatives of the organisation, including an emergency expert, Dr Mary McLoughlin, are due to leave for the stricken region today.

A spokeswoman for Oxfam Ireland, which is helping to supply clean water to the stricken area, said the agency has already pledged £50,000 to those affected by the disaster.

The Irish Red Cross has made an initial donation of £20,000, and a spokeswoman said many people had expressed interest in running charity events for the cause in businesses and schools.

UNICEF is delivering drugs and medical supplies and has acquired a helicopter for this purpose.

Donations can be given to the above agencies on the following numbers:

Concern: 1850 410 510

Trocaire: 1850 408 408 (Republic) and 0500 340 300 (Northern Ireland)

Goal: (01) 280-9779

Oxfam Ireland: 1800 556 559

Irish Red Cross: (01) 676-5135

UNICEF: (01) 878-3000