Written Answers. - Book Drive.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

281 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the Masaka Kitabiro library book drive to enable over one million books from Ireland to be donated and transported to Masaka, a municipality with over a million people in the Republic of Uganda; if he will aid this voluntary project by undertaking to provide financial assistance to cover the cost of transportation and shipping; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19795/00]

The Deputy will wish to know that I have recently been approached by a small voluntary Irish group, who have collected over 20,000 second-hand books, to send to the people of Uganda. They have sought financial assistance in regard to the costs of transporting these books to Uganda and their request is currently under consideration. This book drive constitutes a part of the larger book drive to which the Deputy refers, for the Masaka Kitabiro library. The Deputy will be aware that the Irish Government is strongly committed to Uganda and that our aid programme there amounts to almost £10 million in 2000.