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Minister Power meets Irish aid agencies to discuss Ireland’s response to the Pakistan floods

The Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power, T.D., today met senior representatives of non-governmental Irish aid agencies to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Pakistan. The meeting follows Monday’s airlift of 98 tonnes of emergency shelter, water and sanitation equipment from Irish Aid stockpiles to Pakistan - the largest single shipment of humanitarian supplies ever undertaken by the State. At the meeting Minister Power asked the agencies to distribute the supplies as a matter of urgency.

Speaking after the meeting Minister Power said:

“I am delighted that Irish aid agencies have agreed to distribute humanitarian supplies from the Government’s stockpile – enough to support 33,000 people. It is vital that the global response to the Pakistan earthquake be as coordinated as possible in order to maximise our impact. The enormous scale of this disaster requires us all to work together if we are to reach the many millions whose lives have been devastated.

This morning’s meeting was an opportunity for me to meet senior representatives of those NGOs which are responding to the Pakistan crisis and who have been supported by the Irish Government and public. We will build on today’s meeting to ensure the Irish Aid and the NGOs work as closely as possible over the coming weeks and months.”

On Monday, Irish Aid, the Government’s overseas aid programme air-delivered emergency shelter and water supplies for up to 33,000 people from its stockpile in Dubai. The supplies are being provided to Irish aid agencies - Concern, Trócaire, Goal and Plan Ireland for distribution and will provide shelter and basic infrastructure for the survival of 33,000 people. It brings total aid from Ireland to over €2 million. The Minister continued:

“Ireland was to the fore in responding to the crisis at the beginning of August. We have provided €2 million in emergency funding to address the basic survival needs of these caught up in the emergency. As part of our response, we have also delivered two airlifts of emergency equipment to Pakistan providing vital and speedy life saving supplies.

The NGO partners have also updated me on their responses. We also discussed the extraordinarily generous response from the Irish public. It is very heartening to see the range and scope of Ireland’s assistance to this humanitarian response”.

Clearly, we face a huge reconstruction challenge once the waters have finally receded. I have repeatedly stated Ireland’s commitment to continue in its support to the Pakistani people. Humanitarian needs will continue for some time and it will not be an easy road back for those in need. However, the focus now needs to be kept on basic life saving and on meeting the survival needs of the 17 million people at risk. We have to ensure that this natural disaster does not turn into a humanitarian catastrophe”.

Note for Editors

  • Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development, is an integral part of the Department of Foreign Affairs
  • To date, Ireland has provided funding of €2 million to the humanitarian response to the floods. This assistance is to be channelled through established Irish Aid partners, including the United Nations and Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Ireland contributed €20 million to the United Nation's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in 2009 and a total of €73 million since it was set up in 2006 following the Asian Tsunami. The CERF, which was established with the assistance of Ireland and learning from the lessons of the Tsunami, provides immediately-accessible funds to the UN for use in a crisis such as that in Pakistan. Ireland is the seventh largest donor to this fund.