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Expert Team to travel to Philippines

Aid Effectiveness, Emergencies, News/feature, Ireland, 2013


Expert team from Ireland to travel to the Philippines to assess support to victims of Typhoon Haiyan


A team of Government experts will travel to the Philippines this week. The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., and Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, T.D., have asked the team to assess how Ireland can best assist the country to recover from the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan over the coming months.

The Tánaiste said:

“Ireland was quick to respond to the immense suffering caused by Typhoon Haiyan, providing immediate, life-saving funding and supplies worth more than €3.5 million. However, we recognise that, 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.

“Once we have addressed citizens’ immediate needs for shelter, food, clean water and healthcare, the international community must work closely with the Filipino authorities to consider ongoing support for recovery efforts. 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.”

Drawn from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Irish Defence Forces, the team will travel to the Philippines on Wednesday.  They will meet with the Filipino Government, UN agencies and NGOs in Manila, before visiting Irish-funded relief programmes in the areas worst affected by the Typhoon.

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

Minister Joe Costello said:

“Lessons learned from previous natural disasters, such as the 2004 Tsunami and 2010 Haiti earthquake, highlight the need for the international community to continue to support those affected by disaster well beyond the initial relief effort.

 “In helping families and communities to re-build their lives, we must make sure our support allows them to re-build in a more resilient way, helping them to withstand the impacts of any future natural disasters.”






Note to Editors


  • Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


  • Irish Aid has provided over €3.5 million in support to the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort, including €2.6 million of funding through trusted NGO partners. In addition, Ireland has dispatched three airlifts of essential shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene items, to the value of €845,000.


  • Through its Rapid Response Initiative, Irish Aid has established a strategic partnership with the World Food Programme, which manages the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) Network. The Network maintains a stockpile of emergency humanitarian supplies in five hubs around the globe.  The hubs are in Accra, Brindisi, Dubai, Panama and Subang.   Irish Aid maintains sufficient emergency stocks in the UNHRD hubs to have the capacity to respond to 55,000 beneficiaries. 


  • To date, five deployments of members of Ireland's Rapid Response Corps, a roster of experienced humanitarian experts in areas such as information management, protection, engineering and other technical sectors, have been confirmed.  A further 10 candidates are available for immediate deployment, depending on agency technical requirements. Three engineers, including an Irish Defence Forces Captain, will provide support to the World Food Programme’s operations, an information management specialist has been deployed to support UNICEF’s operations and a civil-military coordination officer will deploy to support the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) shortly.


  • Individual members of the roster are deployed under the standby partnership programme with UN agencies (UNHCR, UNICEF, UNOCHA, and WFP) and other humanitarian organisations in need of their specific skills.  Those agencies and organisations have the requisite knowledge and experience to determine where gaps exist and how to use Irish personnel optimally.