Minister for Foreign Affairs announces €1 million in humanitarian funding for Kenya

Dermot Ahern TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs, this afternoon announced funding of €1 million to address the difficult humanitarian situation in Kenya. The funding will support relief programmes operated by Irish NGOs, Concern and Trócaire and their local partners.  In making the announcement, the Minister emphasised the critical importance of an early resolution to the political crisis and violence in the country.

Announcing the funding, Minister Ahern said:

"The Government remains deeply concerned at the ongoing political crisis in Kenya and condemns all acts of violence that have occurred since the elections. I encourage all political leaders in Kenya to work together to urge restraint and achieve a resolution for the benefit of all the Kenyan people.  With our EU partners, Ireland will do all it can to encourage calm and a political way forward.

My Department has been closely monitoring the emerging humanitarian situation. I am deeply concerned by the displacement of people that has taken place as a result of the violence and unrest. Many people lost everything when they were forced to flee from their homes and are now at a much greater risk of malnutrition and poor health".

Minister of State for Overseas Development, Mr Michael Kitt, T.D., said "the Irish Aid funds announced today will be made available to our NGO partners, Concern and Trócaire, operating on the ground in Kenya. They will allow these NGOs and their local partners to provide shelter, sanitation and food to those displaced by this crisis."

Note to Editors:

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimates that up to 250,000 Kenyans may have been displaced by the recent turmoil.

In 2007, Irish Aid provided €7.3 million in humanitarian and development assistance to Kenya. This was distributed through NGOs, missionary organisations and international partners, such as the UN.

Kenya is a crucial humanitarian hub in the region and many humanitarian organisations use it as a base for operations in the region. Kenya already hosts more than 270,000 refugees from other countries from the East and Horn of Africa.