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Ireland to become Co-Chair of the International Committee of the Red Cross Donor Support Group


Ireland to become Co-Chair of the International Committee of the Red Cross Donor Support Group


Ireland’s leadership role in humanitarian affairs is today recognised as Ireland takes on the role of co-chair of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Donor Support Group.


Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon, said:


“Driven by the impact of conflict and climate change, humanitarian needs have grown to unprecedented levels. Ireland is firmly committed to responding to these needs, and reducing humanitarian need is one of the core pillars of our new development policy, A Better World.


The ICRC is one of Ireland’s most important humanitarian partners. The ICRC provides vital assistance to millions of people, often operating in parts of the world like Syria and Yemen that other humanitarian agencies can’t reach. The ICRC are guided by the principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence, which is firmly in line with Ireland’s own approach to humanitarian assistance.


Given the sheer scale and complexity of the crises we face, it is vital that we work together as an international community to address them. That is why Ireland is delighted to take on the role of co-Chair of ICRC’s donor support group. In our discussions over the coming year, we will work with the ICRC and other major donors on improving the effectiveness of our collective response,  both to meet the urgent requirements of those in need, and to examine how we address the root causes of humanitarian crises”.


The ICRC is one of the world’s leading humanitarian organisations, delivering assistance to millions of people in need, particularly in conflict zones.  It is one of Ireland’s major humanitarian partners, and since 2006, Ireland has provided over €112 million in funding. This year, Ireland and the ICRC signed a new Memorandum of Understanding for 2019-2020, under which Ireland will increase its core funding to ICRC to €10 million annually. In addition, Ireland is providing €6.5 million in dedicated funding for ICRC crisis-specific appeals. This includes €3 million for the ICRC humanitarian programmes in West Africa,  €2.5 million for Syria and €0.5 million each for the response to cyclones in Mozambique and prevention of gender based violence globally.   


The Donor Support Group of the ICRC, made up of the ICRC’s major donors, is a privileged platform for exchange on key ICRC policies and programming. Ireland’s role of co-chair (shared with the ICRC itself) gives Ireland the opportunity to discuss with other major donors the ICRC’s response to major humanitarian crises.


During its year as co-chair, Ireland will focus on the issues of gender in humanitarian crises, including prevention of gender based violence. With the average humanitarian crisis now lasting more than nine years, we’ll also examine the role of the ICRC in protracted crises. Ireland will host the ICRC Donor Support Group in Dublin in June 2020, and will also lead two donor missions to ICRC operations.



Press Office

6 June 2019


Notes to Editors:

  • Established in 1863, the ICRC operates worldwide, helping people affected by conflict and armed violence and promoting the laws that protect victims of war. An independent and neutral organization, its mandate stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
  • The ICRC is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and employs some 16,000 people in more than 80 countries. It is funded mainly by voluntary donations from governments and from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
  • Members of the DSG have a unique access to the ICRC’s operations and staff that allows them to better understand the humanitarian challenges that the ICRC seeks to address.
  • Ireland will co-chair the Donor Support Group with the ICRC for a one year term, taking over from the EU. During this year, Ireland will co-host two policy fora in Geneva, lead two donor missions to ICRC operations, and host the annual ICRC donor support group meeting in Dublin.
  • Ireland’s total funding to the ICRC in 2019 is €16.5 million, comprising core funding (€10 million); funding to Chad, Mali and Niger (€3 million), Syria (€2.5 million), response to Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique (€0.5 million), and funding to ICRC’s special appeal on prevention of gender based violence (€0.5 million). 

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