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Humanitarian Response

The scale of humanitarian need in the world today is at unprecedented levels, with over 421 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

Ireland's humanitarian programme leads our responses to global humanitarian crises. The core objective of Ireland's humanitarian assistance is to save and protect lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity, before, during and after crises. A strong commitment to international humanitarian law and the provision of flexible, timely funding based on the principles of independence, neutrality, impartiality and humanitarianism underpins our approach.

In our Policy for International Development, A Better World , reducing humanitarian need is one of four key priorities. In order to reduce humanitarian need we will strengthen our efforts across our work to foster resilient livelihoods and develop flexible, innovative solutions to better connect our humanitarian response with interventions on sustainable development, disaster preparedness, conflict prevention, compliance with international law, peacebuilding and political solutions.

In 2019, Ireland's total overseas development assistance amounted to over €816 million. €181 million of this total was provided in humanitarian assistance. The majority of this was delivered through the Department of Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation and Africa Division. Humanitarian assistance is also provided by other Government Departments, such as Ireland's contribution to the World Food Programme by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Our implementing partner agencies working on the ground include the United Nationsthe International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and Non-Governmental Organisations. Local actors are the first responders in many crises and are also key partners.

Ireland has built a distinguished track record of responding to global development challenges like poverty, hunger and insecurity. Irish citizens are instrumental in helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world to find new hope, become more resilient and build better lives for themselves and their families.

We are committed to improving the quality of our own humanitarian response by building on our success to date and adhering to internationally-recognised best practices. We draw our knowledge from our previous experiences on the ground, our partners, from cutting-edge research and from the strict monitoring and evaluation of our relief programme. This way, we can ensure that Ireland's humanitarian programme is being implemented according to best practice and that it is delivering value for money in countries with the greatest needs.