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Tánaiste announces emergency funding in response to Typhoon Haiyan

Emergencies, News/feature, Ireland, 2013

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., today announced emergency funding of €1m euro towards the relief effort for Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, as well as essential shelter items for distribution to those affected by the disaster.

The €1million Irish Aid funding will be made available through trusted Irish NGOs and will go towards shelter, food, water and health. Tents, blankets and other basic neccessities, will be made available by Irish Aid and distributed in the Philippines through NGO Plan Ireland. Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps is also on standby to provide expert help to UN agencies operating on the ground.

 The Tánaiste said:

 ‘Ireland has strong bonds with the Filipino people through our missionaries and through the many Filipinos working in our hospitals and elsewhere in Ireland. My thoughts are with the families of those who have perished, and indeed with those waiting to hear of news from their loved ones. This funding and the emergency supplies will go towards those most at risk, as the crisis moves to the recovery stage’

 Speaking from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he is currently leading an Enterprise Ireland trade mission, Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello T.D., gave further detail on how the Irish Aid efforts will be channelled:

 ‘In addition to those killed from the initial onslaught of the typhoon millions of people have lost their homes since Thursday and without urgent assistance, their lives are at great risk.  This emergency funding will go towards those areas most affected and will save lives by providing essential food and shelter.

 My officials have been in contact since Thursday with NGO and UN partners operating on the ground, to see how we can best assist. While there are difficulties with access and the scale of the disaster is not yet clear, it’s important that we respond quickly.  In addition to the funding, stocks of temporary shelters and blankets will be flown in from our base in Dubai tomorrow. Experts from our Rapid Response Corps are also on standby and ready to assist our UN partners on the ground if required’

 The Irish Aid funding will be provided to NGOs and will be distributed on the basis of needs assessments currently being carried out by the UN, the Red Cross and NGOs in the affected areas.

 200 tarpaulins, 85 family tents, 10,000 blankets and other basic food and hygiene necessities are being made available from Irish Aid stocks, pre-positioned in Dubai and are due to reach the Philippines tomorrow.

 Additionally, Ireland is a major funder of UN OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid) which is already on the ground. Ireland also finances the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund through which crisis response funding will be released in the coming days.