AUDIO: Ireland to take 90 Syrian refugees

Ireland's stepping up its efforts to help refugees from Syria.

The government is to approve entry for 90 people forced to flee their home because of civil war.

It's part of Ireland's 14-million euro committment to Syria, where 9 million people need life-saving support.

It comes after the United Nations' refugee agency appealed to the international community to re-home 30-thousand refugees.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore told reporters in Brussels this morning that he will discuss the Syrian crisis with his fellow European foreign ministers today:

Last week, Amnesty International said Ireland could and should be doing more to help Syrian refugees. The human rights group released a report slamming Europe for its "pitiful" response to the crisis.

The European Union has only offered 12,000 places for refugees which is far short of the target of 30,000.

Amnesty says this is just 0.5% of the 2.3 million people who have fled the country. It says only 10 EU member states have offered resettlement or humanitarian admission places to refugees from Syria.

Excluding Germany, the remaining 27 member states have offered to take 2,340 refugee.

France offered 500 places, Spain agreed to take 30 and 18 EU member states - including the UK and Italy - offered no places at all.