Médecin Sans Frontiéres refusal to accept Irish Aid should be a wakeup call - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Cork South-Central Sinn Féin TD, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, has told the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, that he needs to listen to medical and aid workers who have strongly criticised and rejected the EU’s approach to this refugee crisis.
Speaking after he raised the issue in the Dáil this week, Deputy Ó Laoghaire said:
“Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has announced that it will no longer accept funding from EU Member States and EU institutions in opposition to their harmful migration policies. This therefore applies to all funding MSF receives from Irish Aid, the Irish Government’s overseas aid programme.
“In the last 18 months alone MSF medics have treated an estimated 200,000 men, women and children in Europe and on the Mediterranean Sea.
“They are working on the frontline of the humanitarian and refugee crisis and they have clearly stated how the EU-Turkey Agreement, a model that the EU wants to roll out to 16 other countries to expel asylum seekers, is having dire humanitarian consequences.
“It is clear that the EU’s current polices, which have been supported by this Irish Government, are shameful, dangerous, and very damaging.
“It is disgusting to see the EU pride itself on human rights while systematically pushing people and their suffering away from the shores, or leaving them to suffer in overcrowded camps on Mediterranean islands.
“I cannot understand how the Irish Government is content with telling refugees that they should stay in countries they are desperate to flee.
“It is disgraceful that Ireland, rather than maximizing the number of people we can welcome and protect, is instead supporting the EU in its efforts to maximize the amount of people that it can push back to their dangerous and volatile countries, or to Turkey, a notorious human rights violator.
“I am again calling on the Minister to listen to the very real concerns of these medical and aid NGOs, and to review his Government’s support for these inhumane agreements.”