Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Dáil Eireann Debate
Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Deputy Michael P. Kitt): The Rapid Response Corps is a key component of the Government’s Rapid Response Initiative. This Initiative is designed to enhance Ireland’s overall response to humanitarian emergencies. The Rapid Response Corps consists of a roster of highly-skilled individuals who can deploy at short notice to emergency situations.
The campaign to recruit members to this roster was launched in February 2007. Following a rigorous selection and interview process, 64 individuals were invited to become members of the Corps of whom 52 are now ready to deploy if needed. This group has completed its compulsory pre-departure training and checks.
The role of the Corps is to make highly-skilled and experienced professionals available, on a volunteer basis, to key humanitarian partner agencies at short notice to assist in their humanitarian response efforts. Individual members of the Corps are on standby and can be deployed, when requested, for periods of approximately three months.
Ireland can now provide essential expertise — individuals with humanitarian, logistics, information technology, engineering, environmental, public information and public health skills — to our key humanitarian partner agencies. These are the specific skills which are needed internationally to address humanitarian crises.
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