Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD has welcomed the Government’s decision to provide €1m in emergency assistance for the Horn of Africa.

“This is an important decision by the Government and I very much welcome it.  While I know and appreciate that Ireland is in a very difficult place economically we must recognise that there are a great many people is a severe situation in places such as the Horn of Africa.  The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has said that there 400,000 people in need of immediate assistance and I believe it is important to show our solidarity with them at this time. 

“I note that this additional funding brings Ireland’s total funding for disaster relief and emergency assistance to €5.6m since the start of the year in the Horn of Africa.

“I want to thank all of the aid agencies involved in that region for their ongoing efforts to deal with the humanitarian crisis.  Young children and pregnant women I know are particularly vulnerable in this situation and three-quarters of the additional €1m being provided will fund the efforts of the World Food Programme while the remainder will be channelled through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.  The UNHCR is working to provide healthcare, shelter and water to the refugees.