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Minister of State for Trade and Development announces that Ireland is ready to assist Japan

Emergencies, News/feature, Japan, 2011

The Minister of State for Trade and Development, Ms Jan O’Sullivan, T.D., has said Ireland stands ready to provide assistance, if requested by Japan, following today’s massive earthquake and tsunami there.

 “We are assessing the situation in Japan and the region and are in contact with our EU and UN partners, as well as the Irish Embassy in Tokyo,” said Minister O’Sullivan.

 “As yet the Japanese Government has not appealed for international assistance, but we stand ready to provide assistance should there be an appeal.”

Minister O’Sullivan said she had asked humanitarian experts from the Irish Aid Rapid Response Corps to be on standby for possible deployment to the region. The Corps is made up of highly-specialised technical experts who can be sent at short notice to work with the United Nations or other humanitarian organisations in the event of an emergency. She has also asked Irish Aid officials to prepare a possible airlift of emergency supplies from the Government’s stockpiles in Subang, Malaysia.


Notes for the Editor


  • Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, through Irish Aid, operates a Rapid Response Corps, a roster of highly-skilled personnel who can be deployed at short notice to serve with the UN or other humanitarian organisations during a humanitarian emergency. The Corps includes engineers, logisticians and others with the types of skills most required during a humanitarian response operation.
  • Irish Aid also pre-positions essential humanitarian relief items in a series of depots located close to those regions which are most susceptible to natural or other disasters. The pre-positioning of such stocks forms part of the Rapid Response Initiative established in the aftermath of the 2004 Asia Tsunami.  The United Nations Humanitarian Relief Depots (UNHRD), which are highly specialised, are administered by the World Food Programme and are located in Brindisi, Italy; Accra, Ghana; Subang, Malaysia; Panama and Dubai.
  • They are supported by 41 national governments or international humanitarian organisations. The network was used by Irish Aid to organise airlifts and shipments of essential shelter, water and sanitation supplies to emergencies such as those which affected Haiti and Pakistan during 2010.
  • For further information, visit www.irishaid.ie or contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer at Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 01-4082653 or 087-9099975.



11 March 2011