Famine memory may prompt our generous support
Published 05/08/2011 | 05:00
WE are the most generous Europeans in our donations to the famine crisis in East Africa.
More than €7m has been raised to date -- the largest per capita private donations in Europe.
And our collective memory of the Irish Famine may be the driving force behind our generosity, according to Dochas, the umbrella organisation for Irish aid agencies.
Our €1.15 per capita average for Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia compares with just 80c for each UK national and just 14c for every Belgian.
Dochas director Hans Zomer said: "We have serious problems at home but it shows the Irish people aren't immune to the suffering of others."
He urged people to continue to donate what they can as more than 12 million people in east Africa face food and water shortages in the region's worst drought in 60 years.
Concern Worldwide yesterday praised the Irish public for its "magnificent" support after donating €3m to the cause over the past few weeks.