Irish Aid to release almost €4m in funding to Goal

Funding was withheld in May due to a US investigation

Irish Aid to release almost €4m in funding to Goal

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Aid agency Goal has welcomed the release of almost €4m in funding by Irish Aid.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and the Minister of State Joe McHugh earlier announced the release of €3.92m in Irish Aid funding for the long term development work of the agency.

The funding was withheld in May due to a US investigation of a number of NGOs over the procurement of humanitarian supplies for victims of the crisis in Syria.

But Mr Flanagan says the money is being released "following an intensive process of engagement with GOAL".

"We are now releasing €3.92m to meet the cost of development programmes which were delivered on the ground in recent months.

"These programmes were delivered in line with the original agreement between GOAL and Irish Aid", he added.

While GOAL itself says it remains "in constructive dialogue" with both USAID and Irish Aid regarding future funding.

In a statement, the charity says: "The Board of GOAL is enormously grateful to all those who have supported the organisation over the last 40 years and in particular those who have continued to support it at this difficult time.

"GOAL's Action Plan, informed by the events of the last eight months, is focused on rebuilding trust amongst institutional donors and the general public as an effective first responder to some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet.

"GOAL remains committed, more than ever, to our millions of beneficiaries around the world.

"In particular, at this desperate time, we remain committed to the people of Syria, where we are determined to continue our support of 850,000 people that we reach there every day.

"More than ever, our thoughts are with our beneficiaries and our staff, who continue their work as this seemingly unending conflict reaches new depths of depravity."

Established in 1977, GOAL provides humanitarian aid in the developing world.

It employs over 4,000 individuals at numerous locations worldwide, managing in excess of €1bn of humanitarian services since it was established.