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Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello addresses Seanad on humanitarian crises in Syria, South Sudan and Central African Republic

By Ireland - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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DUBLIN, Ireland, January 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD will address the Seanad on the humanitarian situation in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic today at 11.45 AM.

Minister Costello said:

“I am pleased to open this very timely debate on the grave situation in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. 2013 was a very challenging year for the international community with three 'Level three emergencies', the most serious humanitarian crisis designation of the United Nations, being declared.

Syria is one of the worst humanitarian disasters seen in recent years with over 120,000 people killed in the conflict so far and half the population of 22 million in need of humanitarian assistance. Syria's neighbouring countries also need our assistance. I visited Lebanon last year and I was struck by the generosity of Syria's neighbours who now host more than 2.3 million Syrian refugees.

“Dealing with so many humanitarian crises simultaneously puts a remarkable strain on the international community which is now far better equipped to deal with humanitarian crises than 10 years ago.

“I am pleased that in each of these countries Ireland is playing an important role in providing vitally needed funding both bilaterally and through the European Union and United Nations.

“I would like to pay particular tribute to the many Irish citizens working in these countries with NGOs or the UN, often in very difficult and dangerous conditions. They make an incredible contribution and are the finest ambassadors for this country.”