Africa-Press – Sierra-Leone. The Irish NGO, Concern Worldwide, has received €100,000 in funding to respond to the ongoing needs of victims of the Wellington fuel tanker explosion.
It could be recalled that in the immediate aftermath of the fire disaster, drawing on their experience during the Ebola pandemic, Concern Worldwide, assisted the Government and municipal authorities to bury the victims, provide medical supplies and transporting DNA samples to identify remains.
The support from the Embassy of Ireland will enable Concern to continue their work and respond to the needs of burn patients and their families. In particular, it will facilitate Concern to provide nutritional support to patients, hygiene and other equipment to key hospitals in order to help them maintain quality and safe healthcare and has also enabled financial support to be provided to the family of victims to subsidize burial costs.
On pledging their support, the Irish Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Claire Buckley said: “I was shocked and saddened by the events of 5 November in Wellington, a tragedy which has had such a devastating impact on hundreds of already vulnerable families here in Sierra Leone. The victims of this tragedy require our intensive support as they adapt to life-changing injuries. Ireland is glad to support our long-standing partners Concern Worldwide in delivering their meaningful work to the victims and their families, as well as the wider communities of Sierra Leone.”
Concern’s Country Director for Sierra Leone, Austin Kennan said: “The oil tanker fire disaster in November was a huge shock to us all – affecting hundreds of families, including some of our own staff colleagues. We are extremely grateful to the Embassy of Ireland and the Irish public for their generous and timely support to Concern Worldwide’s response which we hope can help to alleviate the trauma and suffering of survivors and the families affected by this tragedy. Concern Worldwide has worked in Sierra Leone since 1996 and we hope that the experience and the relationships we have developed over the last 25 years will assist us help those impacted by this tragedy.”
Ireland is one of a number of European Union Member States to join Team Europe’s response in supporting the Wellington victims. Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria were among those to contribute a variety of essential services in the aftermath of the fire including provision of burn specialists, support towards rehabilitation care and enhancing the capacity of the health sector in Sierra Leone.