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Government to spend five million euro on more aid for Syria and Yemen

Published 30/05/2016

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said recent attacks on hospitals and medical facilities were appalling
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said recent attacks on hospitals and medical facilities were appalling

Five million euro is being spent by the Government on more aid for people affected by the wars in Syria and Yemen.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said recent attacks on hospitals and medical facilities were appalling and he condemned the blocking of convoys of medicines, food and baby food.

Some two million euro of the three million euro destined for Syria is going to groups working inside the country.

One million euro is going to the International Committee of the Red Cross, another one million euro to the United Nation's Turkey Humanitarian Pooled Fund which delivers aid into northern Syria, and another one million euro to Unicef.

Another two million euro is going to the UN's Yemen Humanitarian Pooled Fund, which makes use of local knowledge to ensure that front-line organisations are given the means to reach those in need.

Mr Flanagan said civilians in Syria are in dire straits.

"Life inside Syria has become almost impossible, and 13.5 million people there are in need of humanitarian assistance," he said.

"We must ensure that these people are not forgotten, so two million euro of today's three million euro in Syria funding is directed to organisations which are working inside the country, in an appallingly difficult environment."

Mr Flanagan called on armies involved in the war in Syria to allow sustained humanitarian access to the country.

"I condemn the cowardly attacks on hospitals and medical facilities, and I am appalled that convoys of medicines, food supplies, and even baby food have been prevented from reaching their destinations," he said.

Joe McHugh, junior minister in the Department of Foreign Affairs, said the scale of humanitarian need in Yemen is difficult to comprehend, with 21.1 million people, over 80% of the population, in need of assistance.

"Prior to the current crisis, many of these people were already experiencing extreme levels of poverty, deprivation and food insecurity," he said.

The funding is part of Ireland's commitment to pay 20 million euro in humanitarian support for the Syrian people this year, and 62 million euro since the war began more than five years ago.

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