Irish official visits Ethiopia

Ireland's Minister of State with responsibility for Overseas Development and Human Rights, Mr. Tom Kitt T.D. (M.P.), began a four-day visit to Ethiopia Wednesday. The purpose of Mr. Kitt's visit is to view directly the extent of the food emergency facing Ethiopia at this time and to determine how Ireland can continue to optimally respond to the ongoing crisis, according to the Embassy of Ireland. Ireland contributed 21.56 million birr in food aid and emergency drought assistance to Ethiopia in 2002, the Embassy said.

The Minister would discuss the food situation at a number of meetings with members of the Ethiopian government, including Prime Minister Meles, the Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Ato Sufian Ahmed, and Commissioner Simon Mechale of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Commission.

During his visit Mr. Kitt would visit Zuway Dugda woreda in Arisi Zone, Oromia Region, and Tigray, to see the effects of the food crisis on communities in different parts of Ethiopia. In Tigray, the Minister would have the opportunity to view the efforts of Ireland Aid to address the root causes of food insecurity in the region.

Mr. Kett is due to meet a wide range of organizations and individuals working to alleviate the food security crisis in Ethiopia through emergency food distribution and other humanitarian assistance.

Mr. Kitt will also use this opportunity to discuss the international response to the crises with World Food Programme Country Director Ms Georgina Shaver.

Ethiopia is one of 6 partner countries in sub-Saharan Africa where Ireland Aid targets long-term development assistance with the objective of reducing poverty and building capacity, the Embassy said.


Addis Tribune
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