Irish Republican News · January 18, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Dublin govt acts on Haiti

Irish President Mary McAleese has told Haiti’s head of state that Ireland is praying for his country as the Dublin government prepared to send a team of specialists to the earthquake hit region.

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In a message to Haitian president Rene Garcia Preval, Mrs McAleese said the Irish government would give emergency aid through the United Nations and other agencies.

“The loss of so many lives and the widespread destruction caused by the earthquake has deeply grieved me,” she said.

“The sorrow ofthe people of Haiti has resonated deeply in Ireland and our thoughts a nd prayers are with you and your people.”

Taoiseach Brian Cowen pledged additional money and technical support for relief teams in the Caribbean s tate.

~We will work cooperatively with everybody in the international community to alleviate the extreme hardship,” he said.

There are fears that between 50,000 and 200,000 may die as a result of the devastation, although figures are sketchy.

The Red Cross said an estimated three million people -- a third of the population -- might need emergency aid.

Irish citizen Andrew Grene, a UN worker, is understood to be still missing in Haiti. All other Irish citizens there, 17 in number, are said to be safe and well.

26-County Foreign affairs minister Micheal Martin has pledged 2 million euro towards the relief effort.

The Dublin government announced on Friday it is to send 85 tonnes of emergency aid to Haiti as part of the international aid effort.

Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power said it was essential the important supplies reach the people of Haiti “as quickly as possible”.

A team of Irish Aid experts and specialists from the rapid reaction corps were being sent out and are expected to arrive in the next few days.

“Irish Aid deployed a technical team to Asia in the wake of the Asian tsunami in 2004 and they proved highly effective in ensuring that our aid wes delivered in a targeted manner and did not duplicate the efforts of other donors,” Mr Martin said.

“The team who will deploy to Haiti o ver the coming days will be charged with the same mission and their assessments will feed into Ireland’s ongoing support to the people of Haiti who have suffered such devastating losses.”

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