Lenihan and Egeland call for action on Darfur

 Conor Lenihan TD, Minister of State for Irish Aid and Jan Egeland, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, on Friday evening (8 December) called for concerted international action to protect civilians in Darfur. 


Conor Lenihan met Mr Egeland, in New York yesterday, following the annual pledging conference for the UN's Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). Ireland doubled its contribution to €20 million in 2007 – making it the sixth largest international contributor and third largest per capita. Minister Lenihan and Under Secretary-General Egeland called for the mobilisation of the international community to prevent the situation in Darfur from worsening.   “It is unacceptable that the conflict has spread from Sudan into the Central African Republic and Chad. It is essential that there is a concerted international effort to protect the lives of innocent civilians caught in this conflict,” said Under Secretary-General Egeland. His comments were echoed by Minister Lenihan: “The wider international community has a responsibility to act. Ireland has provided more than €16m in emergency humanitarian funding to Darfur since 2004. This year alone we have given €6 million, which we have channelled through NGOs, including Concern, GOAL and Trócaire.  We have given €3m to the African Union mission in Sudan, which has been used for humanitarian and human rights purposes.” The Minister reassured Under Secretary-General Egeland of Ireland's commitment to international emergency relief, through Irish Aid's Rapid Response Initiative and UN structures, including the CERF.