Ireland sends emergency items from UN depot in Ghana to Sahel region

The Irish government has announced the dispatch of emergency relief supplies from Ghana to respond to the severe food crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa.

The country’s Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello,on June 6, 2012 witnessed the dispatch of an Irish Aid shipment of shelter, water and sanitation equipment to help thousands of vulnerable refugees in West Africa who have been affected by the severe food crisis in the Sahel region.

The Minister made the announcement when he toured the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Accra, Ghana during an official visit, according to a statement issued by the Irish Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The Ghana depot is part of a wider UNHRD international network, in which Ireland stores emergency humanitarian equipment such as shelter, water and sanitation, and health care supplies for rapid dispatch to disaster areas.

The statement quoted Mr Costello explaining that “Ireland has moved quickly to respond to the emergency in the Sahel region. Since the beginning of this year I have authorised more than €9 million in funding to assist in the humanitarian relief efforts there, including €4.25million in funding to the UN and agencies.”

The Minister also authorised €200,000 in funding to support the ongoing operational costs of the UN depot in Accra.

The €200,000 in funding will contribute to the ongoing operational costs of the depot and assist in the completion of a training facility, Costello said.

The Accra depot is the UN’s main supply base for the West Africa region. It enables the Irish government to react faster and more effectively to humanitarian emergencies when they occur in West Africa.

Ireland holds approximately €400,000 worth of stocks at the depot, including tents, blankets, plastic sheeting, soap, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, large water tanks and jerry cans.

By Ekow Quandzie

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