Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (125)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

125. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which humanitarian aid from Ireland and other EU countries continues to be monitored to ensure that such aid goes directly to the areas or persons to which it was intended; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21469/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

Ireland’s humanitarian assistance targets the most vulnerable and hard to reach populations experiencing disasters and emergencies. Humanitarian crises worldwide are monitored, with decisions on funding informed by an annual categorisation of need assessment. This identifies the highest priorities for the allocation of humanitarian resources and highlights areas where early funding is required. This helps ensure that aid goes where needs are greatest. Ireland focuses in particular on forgotten and underfunded crises, providing assistance where others are not. Monitoring of Ireland’s humanitarian assistance is undertaken through robust grant management and report appraisal processes, including monitoring visits to programmes being implemented by our partner organisations in crisis countries, where the humanitarian situation on the ground allows. This year, monitoring visits have taken place to programmes in Somalia, Cameroon and Tanzania, with further visits planned in 2018.

Ireland also advocates strongly within the EU for humanitarian aid to be provided to those that are most vulnerable, as well as for EU aid to be managed in the most effective and efficient way possible so that it has the maximum effect. Correct implementation of humanitarian aid managed by the EU is ensured by several layers of checks and monitoring, also including regular field visits to projects. Regular evaluations are undertaken, focusing on major country operations, partners and thematic issues. The results of these evaluations are publicly available.

In 2018, Ireland will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation worldwide closely in order to ensure that humanitarian support is provided to the most severe ongoing crises and to those in most need. We will also react to sudden-onset crises or sudden spikes in humanitarian need due to conflict or natural disasters, while remaining committed to providing assistance to crises that are forgotten by others. Thus far this year Ireland has provided over €16 million to the Syria humanitarian response, over €4 million to the response for the Democratic Republic of Congo and €4 million to the Yemen response. Substantial support has also been provided to Somalia, the Central African Republic and Sudan, amongst other situations. Looking forward, it is clear that the ongoing Rohingya crisis and ongoing food insecurity in the Sahel and in the Lake Chad basin will also require our continued assistance in 2018. We believe that it is not only the quantity of assistance but the quality of it that is critical, and will continue to advocate at the EU and other fora on improving the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance, including through using innovative funding mechanisms. Ireland will also continue to work to ensure that Irish and EU assistance reaches those in greatest need in the most efficient and effective way possible, with robust monitoring mechanisms in place to ensure this.