Foreign Affairs Committee to meet with Heads of Aid Agencies to discuss African Famine

July 25th, 2011 - Pat Breen

The CEOs of three of Ireland’s leading overseas aid agencies will attend a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade tomorrow, Tuesday, 26th July, to address the emergency humanitarian situation in the horn of Africa.

Tom Arnold of Concern, Justin Kilcullen of Trócaire and Jim Clarken of Oxfam will all appear at meeting of the Committee. They have just returned to Ireland after extensively travelling the affected regions with former President, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson.

Committee Chairman, Pat Breen TD said: “The Horn of Africa is currently experiencing the most severe food crisis in the world today. Between 10 and 12 million people in drought stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are severely affected.

Ireland’s response has been acknowledged as one of the more committed, Ireland has pledged €7 million euros to meet the needs of the people of this region and has despatched 11 members of the Irish Aid Rapid Response Corps. However, the international reaction has been slow, with an estimated €800 million shortfall existing.

By meeting with the heads of the agencies, who are currently on the ground in these countries, we will be able to assess the exact nature of the crisis and establish what measures Ireland can take to help avert the catastrophe.”

This meeting will take place in Committee Room 4 at 2.30pm on Tuesday, 26th July.

Committee proceedings can be followed live at:
http://www.oireachtas.ie/ViewDoc.asp?fn=/documents/livewebcast/Web-Live.htm&CatID=83&m=o