Generous Irish donate €12m to famine in Somalia
Irish people have donated 12 million euro to help those hit by famine in the Horn of Africa.
The money is in addition to the 8.2 million euro worth of relief pledged by the Government to support humanitarian workers on the ground in Somalia.
Dochas, the umbrella organisation for Ireland's overseas NGOs, praised the generosity of people over the last six weeks despite facing financial strain.
Hans Zomer, Dochas director, said: "That was absolutely phenomenal.
"We hear so much about the hard times at home, but quite clearly the Irish people have not forgotten the people who are really suffering and are at risk of dying."
Dochas has 45 member organisations, with eight working on the emergency response in the Horn of Africa.
They include Trocaire, Concern, Goal, Oxfam Ireland, Unicef, World Vision and Plan Ireland.
Damien Queally, of Plan Ireland, said people have responded with tremendous generosity as the scale of the devastation becomes clear.
"Fortunately, the suffering of ordinary men, women and children has not gone unnoticed in Ireland," Mr Queally said.
The Government, through Irish Aid, has provided 8.2 million euro worth of relief, through funds to aid agencies, and emergency supplies.
Goal claimed the international community is still not getting to the heart of the crisis.
John O'Shea, chief executive, said: "Although there have been calls from a number of quarters for UN mandated peacekeepers to enter Somalia to give protection to a meaningful relief effort, no substantive action has been taken during the last four weeks."
Mr Zomer referred those who want to know how they can support the relief effort to www.howyoucanhelp.ie.