A man and woman tie transparent plastic bags with food items inside. Behind them are large piles of similar bags.
Credit: DFA
Credit: DFA

Ireland’s humanitarian stocks

Ireland partners with the UN Humanitarian Response Depot to respond quickly to sudden crises.

Irish Aid pre-positions emergency relief supplies in four UNHRD hubs - Accra, Brindisi, Dubai and Panama City. When emergencies strike, these stocks are deployed to disaster zones to help survivors.

We deploy these emergency supplies only when they are not available locally at the scale or speed necessary to respond to people’s needs.

Ireland’s humanitarian stocks include:

  • tents
  • blankets
  • soap
  • mosquito nets
  • solar lamps
  • water tanks

These are non-perishable items that are vital in all emergency situations. Relief items stored by Ireland have been selected in close consultation with UN agencies and NGO partners.

The UN Humanitarian Response Depot procures and stores Ireland’s stocks. It also arranges for their packaging and transport to the crisis-affected country.

Managing transport centrally through UNHRD reduces transport costs.

The quantity of stocks held by Ireland throughout the UNHRD network gives us the capacity to meet the needs of 55,000 people.

€2 million

The value of Ireland’s current stockpiles

1,500 metric tonnes

dispatched since 2018

Irish Aid emergency stocks have been dispatched to:

  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Haiti
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Serbia
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Türkiye
  • Uganda

Humanitarian stocks help displaced family after earthquake

When a devastating earthquake struck Turkiye and Syria in February 2023, Gulcan and her family were fortunate to escape with only minor damage to their home.

Many of her family members were not so lucky, however. With nowhere else to go, they moved in with Gulcan. Soon, her small two-room home was sheltering 20 people.

With water or electricity cut off due to the earthquake, living conditions were very difficult. The family was running out of food and could no longer provide for the new arrivals.

"I was concerned about the children's health and hygiene,” she says. “We were living with 20 people in a two-room house. We needed to obtain a tent so that at least my family and I could sleep there."

Over 100 tonnes airlifted to survivors

Gulcan and her family are one of the hundreds of families who received shelter, heating, and hygiene supplies from Irish Aid’s emergency stocks.

Through UNHRD, Ireland airlifted over 100 tonnes of relief supplies to survivors of the earthquake in Turkiye and Syria. This was Ireland’s largest ever deployment of emergency stocks.

Stocks were deployed from the UNHRD depot in Dubai. Teams from Irish Aid’s NGO partners GOAL and Concern distributed them to over 42,000 people in affected areas.

Gulcan received supplies through Concern’s team in the area. The tent the family received created much-needed living space. Other supplies, including heating materials and hygiene supplies, allowed them to stay warm and healthy.

"For years, our children have heard the rumbles of the Syrian war from afar, and now, with the earthquake, we don't know what we feel,” she said. “We are still in shock. Fortunately, everyone is doing their best for each other."

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