Ireland to send aid, specialist personnel to Haiti

January 16th, 2010 - 1:40 am ICT by BNO News  

Haiti Earthquake pictures DUBLIN (BNO NEWS) — Ireland is to send 85 tonnes of emergency supplies to Haiti as part of the ongoing international aid effort, Irish government officials said Friday.

“It is essential that these important supplies reach the people of Haiti as quickly as possible. The fastest way in is by air”, Irish Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power said Friday.

The aid is being drawn from Ireland’s pre-positioned stockpiles and is expected to arrive in Haiti in the coming days.

The supplies are expected to be given to aid agencies Concern and Goal for distribution to around 8,000 families in the quake-ravaged region. The consignment includes mosquito nets, water tanks and essential plastic sheeting for shelter.

“The fact that we can respond so quickly is evidence of the lessons we learned as a result of our engagement with the Asian tsunami in 2004,” Mr. Power added.

Three members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps will also deploy to Haiti over the coming days. Two Corps members, an electrical engineer and an IT expert have been assigned to work with the World Food Programme to “bolster the international response” to the disaster, while the third member is a Defence Forces’ engineer who is a UN-trained disaster expert.

Ireland has allocated some €20 million of pre-positioned funding to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund in 2009, money which is now being drawn down to support the UN response.

Mr. Power says a small Irish Aid technical mission is also expected travel to Haiti in the coming days to assess the immediate needs of the Haitian people.

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