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Minister Costello authorises emergency airlift of shelter supplies for the DRC

Irish Aid, Press Releases, Africa, 2012

Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., today announced that Ireland is to provide almost 100 tonnes of emergency shelter supplies to assist thousands of families left homeless by conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Minister Costello said:

“I have approved an airlift of 18,000 blankets, 600 tarpaulins, and 500 tents from Ireland’s pre-positioned stocks in the UN Humanitarian Depot in Dubai. These essential supplies will allow our partners, Concern, Oxfam and Christian Aid to provide emergency shelter to those who have been forced to flee their homes. I have also placed members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps on standby to assist the international relief operation as necessary.

“The humanitarian situation in eastern DRC has deteriorated rapidly due to violence caused by the incursion of the rebel group, M23. An estimated 130,000 people have fled the eastern capital, Goma, and surrounding areas, which had already seen more than 1.5 million people leave due to ongoing conflict.

“The people of DRC are grappling with one of the most complex and enduring humanitarian crises in the world. After decades of war and mismanagement, DRC is the world’s least developed country. More than five million Congolese have lost their lives since 1998.

“Ireland has repeatedly condemned the serious human rights violations which have blighted the lives of so many Congolese and has provided significant support to the United Nations and major international NGOs to assist them in responding to this devastating crisis.”