Tánaiste announces €3m aid package for SomaliaTánaiste Eamon Gilmore announced an additional €3m in life-saving assistance to Somalia during a visit to the capital, Mogadishu today.
Minister Gilmore's visit coincides with the one-year anniversary of the UN's declaration of famine in Somalia in July 2011.
The Tánaiste is the first Irish Minister to travel to the country in more than two decades.
Mr Gilmore said: “Somalia is one of the poorest and most insecure environments in the world. Our ongoing assistance is saving lives every day.”
The funding will help non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including Concern, to scale up vital aid to millions of vulnerable Somalis whose lives are in jeopardy as a result of war and starvation.
It is in addition to almost €30m in emergency and long-term development funding given through Irish Aid over the past five years.
Transparency International's 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Somalia and North Korea as joint last, or most corrupt.
Perhaps I am getting the wrong message here but this article comes mere days after I heard that the Irish government is going to be wielding the “budget cutting axe” to agencies that provide much needed services to Irish nationals living in the United States. This is not to mention the vicious cuts to services for people in their own country who are very much in need of those services. The funding that will be necessary to replace these unconscionable budget cuts to their own people and to agencies providing services to the Irish diaspora will once again be placed on the shoulders of the Irish taxpayer. While it is commendable to assist third world countries, the size of the Irish government’s largesse should definitely be scrutinized and brought under control.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America