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The gift of giving: Ireland's €25 million to this year's worst crises

Even though these international crises are overseas, Ireland has shown that these are issues close to home through their 2016 donations.

TO DATE, IRELAND has provided almost €25 million in humanitarian assistance in response to three of the biggest humanitarian disasters.

This includes the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo caused by a brutal four-year civil war; the besieged city of Mosul by terrorist group ISIS, and the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew which has left thousands homeless and at risk of disease.

This aid goes towards helping children like Syrian refugee Shahad Muhammed nour Al Mubarak, aged 6.

Migrant crisis Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Shahad lost her right leg in an explosion outside her home in Aleppo on 27 November 2013, in which her younger brother was killed. Four months later she fled with her mother, grandfather and three surviving siblings to Turkey, where the ongoing cost of treatment and new prostheses, which need to be replaced every three months as Shahad grows, were a strain on the family finances.

When she hears an aeroplane overhead, she rushes for safety in the bathroom, fearful that another bomb will be dropped on her home.

Syrian aid

Hundreds of thousands of Syrian people have been killed in the five-year civil war between government soldiers (supported by Russian military), and rebels who wish to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad regime, with millions more displaced.

More than €14 million has been provided through the Irish Aid programme, with the remaining €6 million funded from the Department of Agriculture to the World Food Programme’s response to the Syria crisis.

A total of €20,264,459 has been donated to causes to help the humanitarian crisis in Syria. This is currently Ireland’s largest response to any humanitarian crisis, and our largest to a single crisis in recent years. Total humanitarian assistance to Syria and the countries surrounding the region since 2012 has now reached more than €62 million.

The funding, according to the department, seeks to meet the needs of those most in need inside Syria, particularly in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, and those who have fled to neighbouring countries.

Mosul, Iraq

Mideast Iraq Mosul Source: Hussein Malla

Some 70,000 civilians have fled the violence since Iraqi forces started the offensive to retake Mosul last month.

After more that two years of extremist rule over the city of more than a million inhabitants, the authorities are desperate to stop any jihadists escaping among the throngs of displaced civilians.

Ireland has given €1.5 million in funding to the UN Iraq Humanitarian Pooled Fund. This money will go directly towards providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to the estimated 10 million people affected by violence in Iraq.

In November the government also announced plans to dispatch 80 tonnes of humanitarian relief supplies to northern Iraq in order to provide assistance to people besieged by ISIS in Mosul.

Haiti

Haiti Hurricane Scarce Water A girl drags a suitcase of containers full of fresh water in Les Cayes, Haiti. Source: Dieu Nalio Chery

Official figures coming from the UN in Haiti show that 2.1 million people are affected by the hurricane in a country with a population of 10.1 million.

The death toll caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti is threatening to exceed 1,000 people and there are already reports of over 510 cases of cholera in the area.

So far, Ireland has provided just over €2 million in humanitarian assistance to organisations tackling the crisis in Haiti.

This includes deployment of emergency stocks and humanitarian funding to key NGO partners.

Humanitarian funding of almost €1.7 million has been provided to experienced NGO partners with relief operations on the ground in Haiti, including Christian Aid Ireland, Concern Worldwide, Plan International Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, Action Aid Ireland and Haven.

In line with people’s priority needs, the funding will be used for the provision of life saving assistance including shelter, water, sanitation and health activities, distribution of food or cash provisions and non-food items and cholera prevention.

Some 70,000 civilians have fled the violence since Iraqi forces started the offensive to retake Mosul last month.After more that two years of extremist rule over the city of more than a million inhabitants, the authorities are desperate to stop any jihadists escaping among the throngs of displaced civilians.

Dominic MacSorley, CEO of Concern Worldwide said that the overall amount donated to the crisis in Haiti was ‘a disgrace’, but praised Ireland’s contribution:

The Irish public have once again been digging deep and we cannot thank them enough.

In total, that’s over €23.7 million to three of this year’s worst international crises.

Ireland has also deployed 13 Rapid Response Corps to assist the work of UN agencies responding to crises throughout the Middle East and Balkans.

This group includes child protection officers, engineers and environmental officers, and information management officers.

Read: Ireland has given over €20 million in aid to Syria – our largest humanitarian donation to date

Read: Charity boss praises Ireland’s response to Haiti disaster, while calling world response a ‘disgrace’

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