Skip to main content

Ministers Flanagan and McHugh announce €3.5 million humanitarian support for Nigeria and Iraq


Ministers Flanagan and McHugh announces €3.5 million humanitarian support for crises in Nigeria and Iraq

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D. and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh T.D. today announced €3.5 million in support for the humanitarian crises in Nigeria and in Iraq. 

€2 million will be provided for food, water and shelter for the estimated 14.2 million people in north eastern Nigeria affected by violent attacks on civilians by Boko Haram. This funding will be channelled through Ireland’s international partner organisations the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

€1.5 million funding will go towards providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to the estimated 10 million people affected by violence in Iraq. The funding will be provided through the UN Iraq Humanitarian Pool Fund.

Announcing the funding, Minister Flanagan said:

‘In 2016 there are enormous humanitarian challenges globally, with millions of people displaced by conflict. Ireland remains committed to providing humanitarian support to those most in need, including those in protracted conflicts like those in Nigeria and Iraq.

Violent attacks on civilians by Boko Haram in Nigeria have left widespread devastation with several million people affected by the conflict. Many of them face severe food insecurity and lack access to livelihood opportunities. Already scarce resources in host communities are stretched.  In Maiduguri in north- eastern Nigeria, for example, the population of one million has swelled to over two and a half million because people have had to flee their homes as a result of the conflict. 

This phase of the crisis in Iraq has unfolded rapidly since early 2014, with the rise of ISIS/Da’esh, It has resulted in the displacement of some 3.4 million people, a large proportion of whom are under 18 years of age. As a result, Iraq is now one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, with over a third of the population in need of humanitarian assistance.’

Minister McHugh added:

‘The desperate plight of refugees around the world is familiar to us all through media reports, and I have witnessed first-hand the plight of refugees from South Sudan in my visit to Uganda earlier this year. This Irish Aid funding will be crucial to ensuring that the needs of refugees and displaced people in Nigeria and Iraq for food, water and shelter will be met. 

Our international partners, including  the UN, ICRC and the FAO play a key role in the distribution of humanitarian assistance and we work closely with them to ensure that our funding is effective and reaches those most in need.

In addition to this funding, four members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps have been deployed so far this year to Nigeria, and one to Iraq, to provide much-needed surge capacity to our UN partners’ emergency response operations on the ground.’


Press Office

05 September 2016

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
  • Ireland’s new 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.
  • Ireland provided €500,000 humanitarian funding to the ICRC’s programme in northern Nigeria in 2015.
  • Ireland provided €1.15 million in humanitarian support to Iraq in 2014, and €1.25 million again in 2015. The 2015 funding was divided between the Iraq Humanitarian Pooled Fund and UNICEF. In addition, as part of Ireland’s Syria funding pledge, in 2015 Ireland provided €330,000 to support Christian Aid’s work in Iraq.
  • 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.  To date in 2016, 29 rapid responders have been deployed into crisis and emergency situations around the world. 
  • Two rapid responders were deployed to the World Food Programme’s humanitarian operations in Nigeria to provide support in logistics and engineering, and two 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.  A fifth rapid responder was deployed last week to Erbil in Iraq to work with OCHA in the civil-military coordination area.