When Disaster Strikes - How Ireland Responds
Ireland has a well-established track record in responding to emergencies. Irish Aid and the major aid agencies have experienced specialist staff who are trained in carrying out emergency assessments. They can send highly trained medical staff, water and sanitation engineers and equipment such as medicines and emergency shelters to the affected region.
Not being familiar with local systems and infrastructure, these specialist staff work with partner organisations in the affected country to ensure that the affected people have adequate food, water and shelter to meet their immediate needs.
The effects of a disaster continue to be felt long after the television cameras have departed to the next news story. The reconstruction of people's homes and the rehabilitation of their lives often takes many years. Usually, the poorest people will find it the hardest to rebuild their lives.
The generosity of the Irish people in the face of such adversity is well documented. However it is important that the right kind of aid is given at the right time so that the affected population has the best opportunity to restore their means of earning a living. The following sections list the mechanisms and principles that aid agencies use to ensure that their aid works.
'In responding to emergencies, we will work with a variety of partners that can respond effectively to people's real needs on the ground'.
White Paper on Irish Aid, 2006