Ireland has committed to providing €20m in humanitarian assistance to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and €100,000 to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Speaking today, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said the World Food Programme helps feeds 80m of the most malnourished people in 80 countries worldwide.

“This contribution will help save lives and support food security and nutrition and (re)build livelihoods in fragile settings. This support is particularly necessary in the context of the current refugee crisis, where large parts of our funding will be targeted,” Minister Creed said.

Thanking Ireland for their contribution, UN WFP Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin underlined the importance of these contributions and how they are used to help people in the developing world.

This contribution enables life-saving assistance for people living on the frontlines of hunger, conflict and climate-change, and it reaffirms Ireland’s role as one of WFP’s most engaged partners.

“Ireland’s multi-annual commitment facilitates efficient and effective assistance for hungry and malnourished people, particularly in war-devastated regions, bringing us one step closer to our shared goal of Zero Hunger,” Cousin said.

Minister Creed also announced the provision of €100,000 in emergency funding for Ethiopian farmers, through the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

“These monies will fund urgent FAO work in distributing seeds to families in Ethiopia who have been experiencing one of the most severe droughts in 50 years, due to the effects of climate change.

“Our contribution to this project will not only help affected households in Ethiopia to resume food production, but is part of the wider role my Department plays in initiatives on climate change and sustainable agriculture at both national and international level” said Minister Creed.

Dominique Burgeon, Director, Emergency and Rehabilitation division of the FAO, emphasised the need for urgent seed support in Ethiopia ahead of their main planting season.

“It is critical to timely deliver seed support to the most vulnerable ahead of the main planting season. With support from the Government of Ireland, FAO is enabling 2,800 farming families not only to resume agricultural production, but to safeguard their livelihoods,” Burgeon said.