Dáil Éireann - Volume 574 - 13 November, 2003
Written Answers. - Overseas Development Aid.
Mr. Cuffe Mr. Cuffe
33. Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the total amount of humanitarian aid given by the Government to the Palestinian Authority, Afghanistan, the Congo and Liberia to date in 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26770/03]
Mr. Kitt Mr. Kitt
Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Mr. Kitt): To date in 2003, the total amount of humanitarian and recovery assistance approved by the Government for Palestine, Afghanistan, Congo and Liberia amounts to more than €9 million. So far this year, development assistance totalling €2.9 million, including emergency humanitarian relief, has been provided for Palestine. In delivering this aid, the Government's objective has been to alleviate the practical consequences of the ongoing conflict by enhancing the capacity of our partners, in particular the Palestinian Authority, to respond to the crisis and to address the future development needs of the Palestinian people. Of this support for Palestine, €1 million has been provided to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, for its humanitarian programme. Despite the ongoing conflict and widespread infrastructure destruction, UNRWA's operations in the areas of health, education and basic services continue, often at great personal risk to staff. Development Co-operation Ireland has also delivered €260,000 to Trócaire for an emergency water and employment programme in Palestine.
In Afghanistan, Ireland continues to actively support the recovery process and to deliver on the pledge we made at the international conference on Afghanistan which took place in Tokyo in January 2002. The Government pledged €12 million over a three year period for recovery activities in Afghanistan. Of this, almost €9.4 million has been delivered or approved for delivery to date. In addition, we have provided support amounting to €2.8 million for humanitarian operations in Afghanistan from 2002 to date.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, so far in 2003, humanitarian funding of €1.1 million has been allocated in support of emergency water and health relief. Some €500,000 was provided to UNICEF to support its emergency water and sanitation programme, €350,000 was allocated to Médecins Sans Frontieres, MSF, for basic health care provision and €250,000 was disbursed to the World Health Organisation for the provision of inoculations and other primary health care activities.
Ireland was one of the first countries to respond to the latest crisis in Liberia. On 22 August last, I announced an emergency humanitarian package of assistance amounting to €2 million for Liberia. This aid is concentrated on urgent provision of water deliveries, food assistance and emergency health supplies to the displaced population and is being disbursed through UN agencies as well as Irish and international NGOs. This funding was a follow up to Development Co-operation Ireland's €500,000 humanitarian package for Liberia in January 2003, delivered via the UN World Food Programme and UNICEF.
All of this humanitarian assistance is designed to meet our key goal of saving and protecting lives in the developing world. This objective is underscored by a number of best practice humanitarian principles: a commitment to international humanitarian law and respect for human rights; adhering to needs-based programming; supporting emergency preparedness and building local capacity; promoting the unique co-ordinating role of the United Nations; and promoting strategic interventions as part of a co-ordinated donor response, particularly with our EU partners.
Dáil Éireann 574 Written Answers. Overseas Development Aid.