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Responding quickly

At Irish Aid, we ensure that we are prepared to respond quickly and effectively to humanitarian crises.

Our response in action

2014 was a year of massive humanitarian challenges, with the Ebola crisis taking a huge toll in some West African countries, and an unprecedented refugee crisis arising from conflicts in Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Ireland, through its aid programme, Irish Aid, has played its part in responding to these crises.

Funding of almost €18 million was provided in response to the Ebola crisis in 2014, along with 42 tonnes of essential household items as part of our Rapid Response Initiative. The funding supported Ebola treatment facilities, community awareness-raising, contact-tracing and child nutrition programmes in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Since 2011, Ireland has provided nearly €29 million in humanitarian support to Syria, delivered through UN partners, the Red Cross and Irish NGOs. Ireland’s support has been focused on supporting people displaced within Syria and those across the wider region.

Ireland is also continuing to respond to acute crises in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Iraq, which have witnessed displacements of huge numbers of people due to ongoing violence.

Our Rapid Response Initiative

We are able to respond quickly and effectively in Haiti and to other crises because we put in place a special Rapid Response Initiative (RRI), in response to the increased demand for effective emergency assistance.

We have a stock of humanitarian supplies ready to be used. We pre-position these at UN Humanitarian Response Depots (UNHRD) around the world from where they can be quickly accessed and delivered to those in need.

We established the Rapid Response Corps, a register of highly-skilled individuals including the Defence Forces, from the public and private sectors, who can be deployed at short notice to assist in an emergency relief effort.

The RRI enhances our ability to help those most in need of help. It harnesses the skills, experience and resources at our disposal as a nation to respond to humanitarian emergencies.

It is inspired by the belief that donors like Ireland must be in a position to provide direct help in response to sudden-onset emergencies. We developed the RRI because we recognised that there were gaps in the current system of humanitarian assistance and we wanted to be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to any future crises.

Ireland must be in a position to provide direct help in response to sudden-onset emergencies.

Enabling our partners to respond quickly

In times of crisis, it is our NGO and international partners with a presence on the ground who know the local situation, have long years of experience, understand what is required and can act quickly.

Over the years, we have built up strong relationships with these partners and working together we are making a real difference. Through specially designed funding schemes, we are supporting our partner agencies to improve their ability to tackle crises quickly and in the most effective way.

Learning from our experiences

What we do is always guided by the central values of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence, as outlined in the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) initiative. But we are continually learning from our experiences on the ground, from monitoring of our efforts and from cutting-edge research. 

Our Emergency and Recovery funding

Learn more about our Emergency and Recovery funding schemes and how they support poor people in times of crises.