Wednesday 26 April 2017

Video: Pressure on Government to give charities more aid cash

Shane Hickey

THE Government is to come under sustained pressure to give more money to Irish charities who are working in famine-struck areas of Somalia.

Three of the country's main aid agencies -- Concern, Trocaire and Oxfam -- are to brief the Oireachtas foreign affairs committee next week on the crisis in the Horn of Africa.

The Government has not indicated so far whether more money will be committed through Irish Aid following the official announcement this week that there is famine.

Yesterday Trocaire said it is looking for at least another €400,000 to immediately help relieve the suffering. The agency has raised €1m from the public in the last 15 days.

"We will be discussing financing and how we as agencies can absorb the funding that Irish Aid is able to make available," Trocaire's Caoimhe De Barra said.

Oxfam's Jim Clarken said the seriousness of the disaster needs to be illustrated and more pressure put on other nations to give money.

"I think Ireland has been a good donor and certainly we are not happy with how the rest of the world and the developing world have stepped up to this. There are much bigger countries than Ireland who should be giving more."

Concern is also expected to attend the meeting. Members of the committee yesterday met with seven African ambassadors to discuss the crisis.

So far the Government has committed €5.6m in aid to the Horn of Africa region.

Irish Independent

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