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Tánaiste and Minister Cannon announce additional Humanitarian Support to Ethiopia

Tánaiste Simon Coveney T.D. and Minister Ciarán Cannon T.D. announce additional Humanitarian Support to Ethiopia


Ireland will contribute an additional €3.1 million to support the international response to the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia: €1.5 million to the Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund, €1 million to UNHCR, €100,000 to Plan International and 118 tonnes of emergency supplies worth €500,000 to be distributed by Trócaire. The additional funding brings Ireland’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia to €6.8 million for 2018.

The Tánaiste and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon T.D., today announced further support from Ireland to the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia. Ireland is contributing an additional €1.5 million to the Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund, €1 million to United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), €100,000 to Plan International and has dispatched 118 tonnes of emergency relief supplies worth over €500,000 to provide life-saving support to those most in need in the country.

Ethiopia is in its third consecutive year of a humanitarian crisis driven by drought and exacerbated by conflict. The situation has deteriorated in recent months as inter-communal violence along the border of Oromia and Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples region has led some 1 million people to flee their homes in West Guji (Oromia) and Gedeo (SNNPR) zones. This new wave of displacements means that since last year an estimated 2.6 million Ethiopians across the country have fled their homes and livelihoods due to conflict, drought and flooding. In addition to the internal displacement, almost one million people have also sought refuge in Ethiopia from conflict in neighbouring countries. A total of 8.5 million people are now urgently in need of humanitarian assistance and the Government and the United Nations have issued humanitarian appeals amounting to US$1.6 billion to address the crisis.

Today’s contribution of €3.1 million will bring Ireland’s total funding to the international humanitarian response in Ethiopia to €6.8 million for 2018.

The contribution will provide emergency assistance through international and national NGOs and UN agencies, ensuring that the most urgent needs can be met quickly, be they for food, shelter, health or protection of the most vulnerable. Ireland is also providing 118 tonnes of emergency relief supplies under its Rapid Response Initiative. The supplies, which include blankets, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and jerry cans, will be distributed by Trócaire to 2,000 vulnerable households displaced by drought in southern Ethiopia.

Announcing the assistance, the Tánaiste said:

“Ireland will continue to support the international humanitarian response in Ethiopia, which is experiencing one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises. We will also continue to work with our EU and UN partners not only in responding where needs are greatest but also to support the Government of Ethiopia to build its resilience in the face of three years of severe drought.

As part of Ireland’s response, I have decided to allocate an additional €1.5 million to the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, €1 million to UNHCR and €100,000 to Plan International to support urgent life-saving assistance. We will also dispatch 118 tonnes of essential relief supplies under our Rapid Response Initiative to be distributed by Trócaire.”

 Minister Cannon added:

As well as providing support to our UN humanitarian partners and through our Rapid Response Initiative, Irish Aid has also consistently supported the humanitarian work of many of our NGO partners in Ethiopia including Plan International, Concern Worldwide and the International Rescue Committee. We are proud of the work of our NGO partners to alleviate the suffering of the people of Ethiopia.

Ireland has consistently provided humanitarian support to the people of Ethiopia and we remain committed to responding where the needs are greatest.”


Press Office

14 August 2018


Notes to the Editor:


  • Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see www.irishaid.ie
  • Ireland’s Humanitarian Assistance Policy outlines how Irish Aid saves and protects lives, alleviates suffering and maintains human dignity before, during and in the aftermath of humanitarian crises.
  • Ethiopia is one of Ireland’s key partner countries for overseas development assistance and is currently Irish Aid’s largest aid programme, amounting to €30 million this year, managed by the Embassy of Ireland in Addis Ababa.
  • As part of Ireland’s Rapid Response Initiative and in partnership with the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD), Irish Aid pre-positions emergency relief supplies in five of the six UNHRD hubs worldwide for immediate dispatch in the event of an emergency. 
  • Last year Irish Aid airlifted 357 tonnes of emergency relief supplies to families affected by flooding in Sierra Leone, and to families affected by conflict, violence and displacement in Somalia, South Sudan, and Bangladesh.
  • Since 2012 to date, Ireland has provided over €27 million in humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia, including over €6.8 million so far in 2018. This includes €4.5 million to the UN-managed Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund (including the additional €1.5 million announced today), €1 million to UNHCR to provide assistance to displaced people and refugees in the country, over €800,000 to our NGO partners on the ground, and the donation of emergency relief supplies also announced today.
  • Ireland is also providing additional funding for humanitarian response in Ethiopia via the provision of core funding to our UN and Red Cross partners on the ground, through our support to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund & NGO pooled funds, and through Ireland’s contribution to the EU, all of which support humanitarian response operations on the ground.  
  • The UN Humanitarian Pooled Funds allocate funding in-country to a broad range of partners, including UN organisations, and national and international NGOs. The Pooled Funds form part of the Humanitarian Response Plan for each country and the funding is allocated to meet critical humanitarian needs ranging from food assistance to protection to livelihoods support.