Thursday, 18 November 2021
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
206. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which an organisation (details supplied) can be encouraged to assist refugees converging on the Baltic states; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56781/21]
Further to my earlier response to the Deputy, I emphasise again that Ireland condemns the regime of Alexander Lukashenko for its exploitation of migrants.
Earlier this year, Irish Aid responded to the migrant crisis in the Lithuania-Belarus border region by providing €100,000 in humanitarian assistance to the International Federation of the Red Cross for transmission to the local Lithuanian Red Cross Society.
In addition, the International Federation of Red Cross launched an operation through their Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to assist refugees in Lithuania. Ireland is a regular contributor to the DREF and contributed €1 million to this fund in 2021.
The International Federation of the Red Cross is the world's largest humanitarian organisation, comprising 192 Red Cross and Red Crescent member societies, and reaches 150 million people annually through 17 million volunteers, members and staff. The Federation coordinates relief operations to assist victims of disasters, and combines this with development work to strengthen the capacities of its member National Societies. In 2020 Irish Aid provided €3.4m in funding to the IFRC in core funding and in response to humanitarian crises and emergencies.