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Minister Fleming announces €400,000 to support Cyclone Freddy relief efforts

Minister for International Development and Diaspora, Sean Fleming T.D., begins a visit to Malawi and Zambia on Saturday, 1 April.

The Minister will meet with Government Ministers and senior officials, members of the Irish community, representatives of NGOs and UN agencies, and the communities assisted by the work of Ireland’s development programme throughout the course of his visit to both countries.

Ahead of the visit, Minister Fleming today announced €400,000 from Ireland to support people affected by Cyclone Freddy, which struck Malawi earlier this month and claimed the lives of over 600 people with more than 500,000 people displaced and living in camps.

While in Zambia, Minister Fleming will formally open the Fr. Michael J. Kelly S.J. Lecture Theatre at the University of Zambia, which has been recently renovated with funding from the Government of Ireland to commemorate the Tullamore-born missionary who for over 50 years worked in the battle against HIV/AIDS in Zambia.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Minister Fleming said:

“This visit is an opportunity to mark Ireland’s longstanding commitment to bilateral cooperation with Malawi and Zambia and to witness first-hand the positive difference Ireland is making to the lives of people in this region of southern Africa.

“I am travelling to Malawi at a very sad time for the country, as it begins to deal with the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Freddy. On behalf of the Government and people of Ireland, I wish to express our deepest condolences to the people of Malawi on the terrible loss of life and destruction caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy."

“Ireland is providing €400,000 in direct assistance through the Embassy in Lilongwe and through our Irish NGO partners. Ireland is also a key donor to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Red Cross, as well as to the pool of NGOs under the ‘Start Fund’, which have already provided over €8.7m to respond to the crisis in Malawi."

“Ireland’s support will enable our NGO partners, the UN and the Red Cross family to provide support to people who have lost homes, land and livestock as a result of the devastating cyclone."

“Ireland has a long and proud tradition in both countries. As Minister for Diaspora, I am looking forward to meeting with the Irish community in Malawi and Zambia, who are playing a leading role in development cooperation, business and culture.”

The Minister will begin his visit in Malawi on 2 April, and he will travel to Balaka and Dedza to visit several projects funded through the Ireland’s development programme, including meeting with those involved in the Social Cash Transfer Programme. The programme provides cash payments to assist poor families as part of the social protection system. The Minister will also meet with local and government officials on these site visits. The Minister will return to Lilongwe and visit a number of other Irish supported development projects. He will also hold a high-level meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at which he will confirm Ireland’s continued support for Malawi.

The Minister will travel to Zambia on 5 April, where he will visit a number of projects in the Lusaka area, and announce funding that reflects Ireland’s priorities and the reduction of poverty and enhancement of the lives of some of Zambia’s most vulnerable citizens. The Minister will hold a high-level meeting with the Government of Zambia. He will also open the Fr. Michael J. Kelly S.J. Lecture Theatre at the University of Zambia.

The Minister will end his trip to Zambia with a visit to an Irish run agricultural enterprise and hear about the opportunities for Irish companies in doing agri-business in Zambia.

 

ENDS

Press Office

31 March 2023

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