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Foreign Affairs | UN Security Council humanitarian aid programmes

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which Ireland continues to respond to the needs of poorer communities often beset by war, famine and national disasters; the extent to which membership of the UN Security Council can be used as a means of accelerating help that is needed in such challenging situations; the extent to which Ireland continues to promote assistance through the bilateral aid or multilateral aid programmes; the extent to which such activity has increased in recent times; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


Ireland’s humanitarian funding has increased steadily in recent years, in response to rising needs worldwide. In 2021, we provided over €228 million in humanitarian assistance, representing 23% of Ireland’s Official Development Assistance.  The figure for 2022 will be higher.

Ireland provides life-saving humanitarian assistance for people suffering in crises driven by conflict, by food insecurity and famine, most notably recently in the Horn of Africa, and in response to national disasters, such as the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan.

During our term as an elected member of the UN Security Council, Ireland has consistently called for urgent action on global humanitarian crises. On Ethiopia, for example, we called for unhindered access for vital humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable communities.  On Afghanistan, Ireland highlighted concerns about the humanitarian situation, in particular the vulnerable situation for women, girls, and minorities.

We have brought a  bi-annual report on hunger hotspots to the attention of the Security Council for discussion and action. In September, Ireland called a UN Security Council meeting on the alarming food insecurity in Yemen, South Sudan, Northern Ethiopia and North-East Nigeria.

Ireland provides asssistance bilaterally, and we are a strong supporter of the multilateral system.  We channel signficant funding through key UN humanitarian agencies. In 2021, 56% of Ireland’s humanitarian aid was provided through UN agencies such as UNHCR and UNICEF, and to UN-managed humanitarian funds, including the Central Emergency Response Fund. These agencies work in partnership with International NGOs, national and local actors, to deliver assistance to those most in need.

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