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Minister Coveney announces €11 million in humanitarian funding to the Horn of Africa region

Emergencies, Environmental/Climate Change, Hunger, News/feature, Horn of Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, 2017


Minister Coveney announces €11 million in humanitarian funding to the Horn of Africa region


The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., who is currently on a visit to the Horn of Africa, today announced further humanitarian support by Ireland to the region totalling €11 million.  


The scale of humanitarian needs across the Horn is now unprecedented, driven by conflict and climate change, severe drought, massive population displacements which in turn causes loss of livelihoods and acute hunger and malnutrition.


This additional support announced by Minister Coveney includes funding for UN and NGO partners’ humanitarian response operations in Ethiopia and Somalia.  The funding will help to meet the needs of over 1.4 million South Sudanese refugees now in northern Uganda and western Ethiopia, who have been forced by conflict and violence to flee their homes. It also includes a consignment of 75 tonnes of Ireland’s emergency relief items, including blankets, tents and jerry cans, which were sent to Somalia under Irish Aid’s Rapid Response Initiative for distribution, by Trócaire, to vulnerable people displaced by drought.


Minister Coveney stated:  


“I am deeply concerned that, today, over 30 million people in the Horn of Africa region are now in need of humanitarian assistance, over 24 million of whom do not have sufficient food to feed themselves or their families.  Millions have been forced from their homes and their countries.  The humanitarian situation across the region is dire. These people’s lives hang in the balance, and humanitarian support plays a vital part in saving lives.”


Ireland has been a steadfast and committed supporter to the Horn of Africa, providing over €127 million in life-saving humanitarian assistance through the Irish Aid programme since 2012.   The new funding, which Minister Coveney announced today, will bring Ireland’s humanitarian assistance to the Horn region to over €138 million since 2012.


Minister Coveney added: 


Providing lifesaving assistance to the Horn of Africa region has been, and continues to be, a cornerstone of Ireland’s humanitarian programme, with over €127 million in support provided to the region since 2012 alone.  Today I am pleased to announce additional support to the Horn region of €11 million between now and early 2018, bringing Ireland’s total humanitarian assistance to the region to over €138 million.”


In concluding his remarks, Minister Coveney highlighted the need for the international community to step up our collective efforts to address the root causes of humanitarian crises in the Horn region:


Working closely with our partner Governments in the Horn of Africa, as well as with our EU and UN partners, we recognise that to end the chronic cycle of crises, we must reinvigorate and step up our efforts to end conflict and violence across the region and work harder to ensure lasting peace and stability.  The support that Ireland continues to provide, the leadership we demonstrate at global and regional level in raising awareness of the humanitarian crises in the region, and the imperative to focus on ending need, is something we as a nation can be justifiably proud of.”  




Press Office

7 November 2017 



 Notes to Editor


  • Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see www.irishaid.ie


  • This package of humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa announced today totals over €11 million when combining recentcontributions in 2017 and planned contributions in early 2018:

Recent contributions 2017

-  an additional contribution this year of €2 million to the UN-managed country-based pooled fund in Ethiopia, the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, bringing Ireland’s total contribution to this fund to €3.3 million this year;

-  an additional contribution this year of €300,000 to UNHCR Ethiopia, brining Ireland’s total contribution to almost €1 million in 2017;

-  a donation of 75 tonnes of emergency relief supplies for distribution in Somalia , with the total costs of the relief items and transport amounting to €330,000;

-  a contribution of €1.5 million to UNHCR Uganda and WFP Uganda to support their humanitarian operations in northern Uganda to assist the over 1 million South Sudanese refugees now in Uganda

Planned Contributions early 2018

-  an contribution of €4 million is planned for Ethiopia Humanitarian crisis in early 2018;

-  an contribution of €3 million is planned for Somalia in early 2018;


  • Prior to this funding announcement today, Ireland had provided over €127 million in humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa region since 2012 to date. Ireland’s humanitarian assistance is focused on saving lives and alleviating the suffering of crisis affected communities, both in their  country and in neighbouring countries, including through providing emergency food and livelihoods assistance, treating acute malnutrition, providing shelter and enhancing their protection, and providing emergency health care services, water & sanitation, and education in refugee camps, IDP settlements and host communities.


  • Ireland has worked consistently with a range of partners including UN organisations, Red Cross partners and NGOs in providing humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa.  This includes support to the UN-managed country based pooled funds, including the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund.   These pooled funds allocate funding in country through a consultative process to a broad range of partners, including UN organisations, and national and international NGOs to meet critical humanitarian needs.  In addition, Ireland has consistently been amongst the top eight donors to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).  Ireland provided an allocation of €22million to the CERF in 2017 – representing 6.6% of total contributions received to date.  Almost $110million has been allocated through the CERF in 2017 to respond to the humanitarian crises in the Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and South Sudan.  


  • As part of Ireland’s Rapid Response Initiative, Irish Aid pre-positions emergency and humanitarian relief items around the world. 


  • Last year Irish Aid airlifted 357 tonnes of emergency relief supplies into crises, including to families affected by drought and flooding in Ethiopia and to families affected by conflict, violence and displacement in South Sudan.  Earlier this year (in April) Ireland airlifted over 100 tonnes of relief items into Somalia for distribution by Concern Worldwide to families displaced by drought.


  • In addition to the funding announced by the Minister during this visit, it is expected that further support will be provided to the Horn of Africa region through UN, Red Cross and NGO partners in 2018.