Ireland launches disaster volunteering programme
06 February 2007
Dublin, Ireland: The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern TD, and Minister of State for Irish Aid, Conor Lenihan TD, today called for skilled professionals to volunteer for Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps.
Launching the Rapid Response Corps, Foreign Minister Ahern said “We need people with specific skills and experience, who are available at short notice to fill critical gaps in the UN’s humanitarian agencies. The international community learned from the Asian Tsunami in 2004 that time was critical in saving lives. Ireland today steps forward with a frontline initiative that I believe could mean the difference between life and death for victims of international disasters.”
Irish Aid, which will manage the Corps, is seeking applications from highly skilled and appropriately experienced professionals willing to volunteer for humanitarian operations in challenging situations. Individual experts from the 50-strong Corps will be deployed at 72 hours notice for periods of up to three months to assist in the humanitarian response efforts of three of Ireland’s UN partner agencies.
The Minister of State for Irish Aid, Conor Lenihan TD, outlined the details of the initiative, “Irish Aid aims to recruit logisticians, IT experts, engineers, environmental specialists, humanitarian and public information specialists and public health officers – skills which have been carefully identified by our three UN partner agencies as specific gaps in their humanitarian response teams. We will be looking for highly skilled people with experience”.
Minister Lenihan congratulated the Private Sector for their positive response to this initiative. Irish Aid has been engaging with a number of private sector companies with a view to sourcing candidates for the Corps.
“I am confident that this initiative will substantially enhance Ireland’s humanitarian response to future humanitarian emergencies”, said Minister Ahern.