Irish Aid’s Annual Report 2016 gives an overview of the work the Irish government is supporting in over 80 countries around the world. The report, launched by Ministers Coveney and Cannon, highlights Irish Aid’s support for the international response to the Syrian refugee crisis, assistance to those affected by the ongoing conflict in Yemen and help to countries in the Horn of Africa coping with drought and conflict.
More than €25 million in humanitarian assistance was provided to those affected by the Syrian crisis in 2016, bringing total support to €67.5 million since 2012. During 2016, Ireland worked closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross to assist those in besieged areas inside Syria. Meanwhile, a strong focus was also placed on working with UNICEF to help refugee children access education services through the No Lost Generation initiative.
Despite the focus on Syria in the media, Ireland has also continued to fund responses to forgotten and protracted crises around the world with over 80% of Irish Aid’s humanitarian assistance directed to crises in Ethiopia, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Niger, Nigeria, Iraq and Haiti. In total, some €194 million was provided in humanitarian assistance in response to the unprecedented level of humanitarian need due to conflict, natural disaster and enforced migration.
The report further outlined the long-term development work Ireland promotes through its aid programme. In all, Ireland’s total overseas development assistance amounted to €724 million in 2016 with a strong focus on the least developed countries. The top five recipient countries of Ireland’s bilateral Overseas Development Aid in 2016 were Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi.
Speaking about the results highlighted in the report, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney said: “2016 saw the scale of humanitarian need in the world reach record levels with over 130 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Ireland is committed to providing humanitarian assistance to ease the plight of civilians caught up in conflicts and natural disasters. Ireland’s humanitarian assistance in 2016 included €25m to the Syrian crisis, focussed on helping those inside Syria, and €29m to countries in the Horn of Africa. Our assistance is to help to meet the immediate and most basic needs: food, clean water and shelter; and access to health care and education.”
The report also highlights the work Irish Aid is doing, on behalf of the Irish people, in Ireland’s key partner countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Irish Aid works directly in eight key partner countries: Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia.
Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon said: “We are working with governments in our partner countries to tackle climate change and food insecurity, and improve health and education services. This is critical as sustainable development in all corners of the world is the only long-term solution to the complex challenges facing the world today.”
Applicants to the Simon Cumbers Media Fund are encouraged to read Irish Aid’s Annual Report 2016 to grow their understanding of development issues, learn about the work Irish Aid is doing and gain inspiration for potential project ideas.
The Simon Cumbers Media Fund is supported by Irish Aid.