A devastating mudslide – triggered by three days of heavy monsoon rains – caused widespread damage and loss of life in Freetown, Sierra Leone on the 14th of August. Homes were engulfed after heavy rains caused part of the Sugar Loaf Mountain to collapse. Some 500 people lost their lives in the disaster and thousands have lost their homes, many of whom are being sheltered in temporary sites.
In response to overwhelming levels of humanitarian suffering across the globe, Ireland has given an extra €9 million in funding to one of our key humanitarian partners - the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). This new contribution brings our total support to the CERF to €22 million this year alone and shows Ireland’s strong commitment to saving lives through humanitarian assistance.
Severe humanitarian crises are affecting a number of countries across East Africa – in large parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Kenya millions of people are living in dire circumstances. These crises are driven by drought and conflict, often resulting in large-scale displacement of people from their homes. Ireland is responding to the crises through our humanitarian assistance programme, managed by Irish Aid.
Ireland has a long-standing commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation, reflected in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Foreign Policy where it is one of Ireland’s five Signature Foreign Policies.
The Government of Ireland’s support, through the Irish Aid programme, to humanitarian demining and the clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO), including weapons and ammunition disposal, helps poor countries to reduce risks to civilians from remnants of past conflicts, including anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions.
This week, Ireland is dispatching over 100 tonnes of humanitarian supplies to Uganda to help refugees from South Sudan, who have been forced to flee their homes by continuing conflict, violence and acute hunger. Two airlifts will fly supplies, including tarpaulins for shelter, blankets, cooking sets, and mosquito nets, to Entebbe in Uganda for distribution to refugee camps hosting South Sudanese refugees.