Lenihan announces €12.8m for Africa, Palestine


The Government is to donate €12.8 million in humanitarian and recovery aid to Africa and Palestine, it was announced today.

Of the new funding, €2.7 million will go towards addressing the root causes of food shortages in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The money has been allocated to a number of aid groups, including Concern, Trócaire, Concern Universal and Oxfam Ireland as well as to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF.

A further €1.85 million will go to Sierra Leone to help fight HIV/AIDS, provide sanitation and assist in elections. This brings Ireland's total support to Sierra Leone in 2005 to €3 million. Another €2.6 million will go to Northern Uganda and Sudan, areas that are riven by conflict.

Finally, €2.75 million is being provided in assistance to Palestine, including €1.5 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Further assistance is also included for programmes Angola; Burundi; Democratic Republic of Congo; Iraq; Liberia and Somalia.

Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights Conor Lenihan said that while the attention of the world has been "rightly focussed" on the victims of the Pakistan earthquake and the Indian Ocean tsunami, a large number of similar emergencies are ongoing away from the media spotlight.

"We must not forget those who continue to suffer greatly in other parts of the world, in particular in Africa where humanitarian needs are so great," he said. "We must respond to all humanitarian crises, including those that are under-reported or in danger of being forgotten."