Funding to support refugees fleeing Sudan14/12/11
The Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., today announced €250,000 in emergency funding to provide food, water and shelter to thousands of Sudanese refugees fleeing violence.
Minister O’Sullivan said Ireland would provide funding to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNCHR) to support its efforts to provide emergency care to those arriving in refugee camps in western Ethiopia.
The UNHCR estimates that some 60,000 refugees have already arrived in Ethiopia from Sudan, with this number expected to rise significantly over the coming months. At present, Ethiopia is also hosting more than 140,000 Somali refugees from the Horn of Africa crisis.
Speaking about the situation Minister O’Sullivan said:
“There is a growing concern regarding the number of refugees arriving into western Ethiopia from the Sudanese states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan. The Sudanese refugees who have arrived are in urgent need of life-saving assistance.
“Many of those fleeing Sudan into Ethiopia are women, children and the elderly, who have travelled long distances in dangerous circumstances to reach the safety provided by the UNHCR with the support of the international community.
“Ireland has a longstanding relationship with UNHCR and their ability to address the needs of the most vulnerable in some of the harshest and most inaccessible areas on the globe is second to none.”
14th December 2011
Note for Editors:
- Conflict has broken out between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) forces based in the Sudanese states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Following the declaration of independence by the Republic of South Sudan in July, tension has increased amongst rebel groups in these states, leaving many displaced by the fighting and facing severe food insecurity.
- Irish Aid is responding to a joint appeal by UN agencies for support amounting to US $18m to assist in the response to this crisis.
- For further information or to request an interview with Minister O’Sullivan, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 01-4082653 or 087-9099975.