UN World Food Programme

Ireland to give WFP emergency technical expertise and support

The Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, today signed a stand-by agreement with WFP for Irish Aid, the government body responsible for overseas development, to provide personnel and technical expertise to the UN food agency in serious emergencies, thus boosting its capacity to respond.

The Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, today signed a stand-by agreement with WFP for Irish Aid, the government body responsible for overseas development, to

We are extremely grateful for this commitment to the millions of poor and hungry people who need our assistance
Senior Deputy Executive Director Jean-Jacques Graisse

provide personnel and technical expertise to the UN food agency in serious emergencies, thus boosting its capacity to respond.

“Ireland has long been one of our strongest donors and this agreement reinforces its support for our operations, especially in emergencies,” said WFP Senior Deputy Executive Director Jean-Jacques Graisse, who signed the agreement on behalf of WFP.

“We are extremely grateful for this commitment to the millions of poor and hungry people who need our assistance,” he said.

Visit

Yesterday, Minister Ahern visited the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Brindisi, Italy. He was accompanied by the Minister of State responsible for Overseas Development, Michael Kitt, and the Deputy Director General of Irish Aid, Brendan Rogers.

The Irish Government officials’ visit follows agreements between the WFP and Irish Aid on the use of the logistical facilities offered by the UNHRD Network, with bases not only in Brindisi but also in Ghana, Dubai, Panama and Malaysia.

With the signing of these agreements, the Irish Government has become an important partner for UNHRD, in its double role of donor to the network and user of its facilities.

Donated

Last year, Ireland donated €400000 for the establishment of the UNHRD network and is now also covering the running costs of the Ghana depot, for the biennium 2007-2008, amounting to €400.000 a year.

Irish Aid stores part of its humanitarian stock in Brindisi in case of emergencies (tents, blankets, water storage containers, kitchen sets, etc.).

Ireland’s contributions to WFP have increased over the last years. In 2006, Ireland donated US$31 million, making it the 17th largest donor overall and the fourth largest on a per capita basis.

So far this year, Ireland has contributed almost US$21 million to WFP and is currently the 14th largest donor overall.