Written answers

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Department of Defence

Overseas Missions

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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49. To ask the Minister for Defence if he will provide details of the humanitarian work of the Defence Forces in Tibnin in Lebanon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3907/16]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Defence Forces have been involved in humanitarian activities overseas in conjunction with their participation in peace support missions for many years. In the years prior to the withdrawal of the Irish Battalion from UNIFIL in November 2001, that ‘reaching-out’ was done in numerous practical ways such as the support given to the orphanage at Tibnin, the Irish Battalion Medical Clinics run for the local people, the aiding of the elderly and the annual helping with the harvests. The main source of funding towards this Humanitarian work comes in the form of a financial subvention from Irish Aid. Since the return of the Irish Contingent to UNIFIL in mid 2011, Irish Aid has funded the following projects which have been identified and supported by Irish Contingents:

-Installation of solar powered street lighting in Ayn Ibil (US$24,000)

-Erection of a fence around the waterhole in Bayt Yahoun (US$ 5,600)

-Purchase of physiotherapy equipment and wheelchairs for the Mosan Centre, Tyre (US$10,983)

-Purchase of an electrical generator for the village of Yarun (US$11,660)

-Purchase of a vegetable drying machine for a women’s agricultural cooperative in the municipality of Bint Jubayl (€6,000)

-Lebanese Association for Human Promotion and Literacy (€4,000)

-Generator to provide power to 200 houses without power in the municipality catchment area of Bayt Yahoun ($25,000)

-Community Garden in the village of Aytarun ($12,500) to provide a neutral area for locals and Syrian Refugees who have been relocated to the village.

Although Tibnin village lies outside of the Irish Contingent’s current area of operations, a project supported by the Defence Forces for the provision of a replacement minibus for Tibnin orphanage ($15,000) has also recently been funded by Irish Aid.

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