The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, and the Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh TD, announced today that Ireland will contribute at least €5 million towards the global response to the humanitarian crisis in north-eastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.
Announcing the funding Minister Flanagan said:
“I have been following the deteriorating situation in north east Nigeria and the Lake Chad region with great concern. The Boko Haram insurgency targeting civilian populations has destroyed vital infrastructure, preventing people from accessing essential services, causing widespread trauma, suffering and displacement. The crisis has now reached grave proportions with 10.7 million people currently in need of life-saving assistance across Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.”
“Ireland welcomes the Oslo conference as an important step in gaining necessary recognition of the scale of the crisis. While recent increases in assistance are a significant step forward, huge food security, protection, and education needs still remain to be met as more areas become accessible to the humanitarian community.”
Minister of State McHugh added:
“The combined impact of deepening insecurity, rapid population growth and severe vulnerability resulting from the effects of climate change, environmental degradation, poverty and underinvestment in social services is translating into record numbers of people in need of humanitarian assistance and the situation in the Lake Chad region remains extremely fragile. Now is the time to expand humanitarian assistance, protection, basic services and essential infrastructure. Progress towards peace requires our firm and united support and Irelands stands in solidarity with the people of north east Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.”
“Ireland’s pledge of at least €5 million for north east Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region in 2017 reflects our commitment to provide humanitarian assistance where needs are greatest and our focus on forgotten crises and conflicts.”
Ireland’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Seán Hoy, will represent Ireland at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad region on the 24th February. The conference, co-hosted by Germany, Nigeria, Norway and the United Nations, is intended to draw attention to, and increase funding for, the urgent humanitarian crisis unfolding in north-eastern Nigeria and in the Lake Chad region.
23 February 2017
Notes to the 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 visit http://www.irishaid.ie/
• Ireland’s Humanitarian Assistance Policy outlines how Irish Aid saves and protects lives, alleviates suffering and maintains human dignity before, during and in the aftermath of humanitarian crises.
• A new Country Based Pooled Fund for Nigeria will be announced at the Oslo Conference. Country-based pooled funds (CBPFs) are multi-donor humanitarian financing instruments established by the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC). They are managed by UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) at the country-level under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC). Donor contributions to each CBPF are un-earmarked and allocated by the HC through an in-country consultative process. Ireland currently co-chairs the Pooled Fund Working Group with OCHA and is very supportive all this initiative.
• Ireland provided almost €6 million in humanitarian assistance to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region during 2016. This included support for the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the region, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s food security response in northern Nigeria, the UN Refugee Agency’s refugee response plan in Chad, and the work of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Niger.
• As part of Ireland’s Rapid Response Initiative, Irish Aid maintains a roster of highly skilled and experienced individuals who are willing to deploy at short notice to assist in emergency relief and humanitarian efforts.
• In 2016, two rapid responders were deployed to the World Food Programme’s humanitarian operations in Nigeria to provide support in logistics and engineering, and four others were deployed to UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also in Nigeria to provide much-needed support in the information management and gender response areas.