Irish Government experts travel to the Philippines

Credit Goal.ie

Credit goal.ie

Government experts will travel to the Philippines tomorrow to assess how Ireland can further assist the country as it recovers from the effects of Typhoon Haiyan.

The team will comprise of representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Irish Defence Forces. They will travel to the Philippines on Wednesday where they will meet the Filipino Government, U.N agencies and NGO’s in Manila.

Eamon Gilmore said “Although the world’s cameras are moving on, millions of Filipino citizens remain homeless, their livelihoods destroyed and their families at risk. Ireland is committed to helping them rebuild their lives over the coming months… We have charged the team with assessing how Ireland can be most effective in responding to the longer-term needs of communities in the Philippines”.

On completion of the mission, the team will outline their recommendations of how Ireland can continue to support the Filipino people.

Ireland has already donated €2.6 million in funding to the relief effort with three airlifts of shelter, water, sanitation and other emergency services to the worth of €845,000 have also been offered.

Aer Lingus provided a flight that departed Dublin airport yesterday morning with over 40 tonnes of aid with help from the Irish agency GOAL.

Goal Irish chief executive Barry Andrews said “Once again, the people of Ireland have been extremely generous… I would like to sincerely thank everyone at Aer Lingus for arranging and putting on this flight, and for the cockpit, cabin crew and operations staff employees, who volunteered their free time”.

Typhoon Haiyan left almost 7000 people dead or missing when it ravaged through the Philippines in early November.

Gavin Lacey

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Latvia still awaiting Irish aid

800px-Flag_of_Latvia.svg

Credit WikiCommons

The Irish government has yet to officially offer any assistance to Latvia in relation to the shopping centre disaster last week in which 54 people perished.

Latvian president Andris Berzins described the tragedy as “mass murder” earlier this week, after the roof caved in on a shopping centre in the capital Riga last Thursday.

Foreign aid offers have come in across the continent from “Belgium, Israel, the Netherlands, Belarus, Sweden, Turkey, the U.K., and by an international institution – the Nordic Council of Ministers,” according to the Latvian embassy in Dublin.

The Latvian foreign minister believes that “although a decision on engaging a foreign expert lies within the competence of the prosecuting authority, a step like that could help raise public confidence and promote transparency in establishing truth about the tragedy.”

A book of condolence will be opened for signing again today at the embassy of the Republic of Latvia, 92 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 between 14:00-16:00.

Although Ireland are yet to provide aid to the Baltic state, the Irish Government has sent a team of experts to the Philippines to assess how we can assist there.

Simon Maguire