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Government announces €1.5 million to support the World Food Programme in Syria


Government announces €1.5 million to support the World Food Programme in Syria

Ireland is to provide funding of €1.5 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to meet the urgent needs of civilians affected by the Syria crisis, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and the Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North-South Cooperation, Sean Sherlock, TD, announced today.

Today’s announcement coincides with the visit of the Executive Director of WFP, Ms. Ertharin Cousin, during which she will meet Minister Flanagan and Minister Sherlock to discuss Ireland and the WFP’s response to current humanitarian crises, including the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Ireland’s support will directly help WFP to provide essential food supplies to families in need in Syria, in particular to children, who make up more than half of all those displaced by the Syrian crisis.

Announcing the funding, Minister Flanagan said:

“As the conflict in Syria enters its fifth year, there are now over 12 million people who are in need of immediate life-saving support. The UN estimates that nearly 10 million of these do not have enough food. Our funding to WFP will go towards providing vital food assistance to families, particularly mothers and children.

“The funding announced today will bring Ireland’s total contribution to date in support of the Syrian people to over €32 million. As part of our support, Ireland has also provided emergency supplies through our Rapid Response Initiative.

“My meeting with Ertharin Cousin will allow me to outline Ireland’s work on food security, nutrition, and reducing hunger, as well as on Ireland’s key role as co-facilitator for the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals talks.”

Speaking about the grave humanitarian situation in Syria, Minister of State Sherlock said:

“Ireland’s contribution will help WFP to support some of the most vulnerable groups in Syria, by providing food parcels to families, school meals for children, and nutrition support for pregnant and nursing mothers.

“The agriculture sector in Syria has been severely affected by the ongoing conflict and food production has dramatically declined, leaving millions of people affected by food shortages. Currently, the WFP is providing food assistance to 4.25 million people each month, right across Syria. They need our support for this vital work.

“Later this month, I will attend a Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait, and will set out then how Ireland intends to support the Syrian people in 2015, including pledging funding."

Press Office
25 March 2015