Page 59 - Linkline Yearbook 2016
P. 59

Gráinne Lynch, CMILT Chairperson of the CILT Southern Section Committee
The chartered institute of logistics & Transport southern section highlights the signi cant challenges facing logistics operations during humanitarian crises
On 26th November in Cork, the Chartered Institute of Logistics brought four excellent organisations and presenters together to highlight, explain and learn
about how we can assist humanitarian efforts amidst one of the most challenging humanitarian crisis in the Middle East in many decades. This historic seminar saw presentations from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, expert Emergency Logistics Teams, the Irish Defence Forces and the Irish Red Cross, and was chaired by Lt Col Kevin Byrne, President Elect of the International Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.
People are leaving their homes, leaving their neighbourhoods and extended families and undertaking perilous journeys. We learned in greater detail the challenges these people face in refugee camps and in crossing the Mediterranean Sea to seek refuge in Europe.
The seminar was opened by Gráinne Lynch, Chairperson of the Southern Section of the CILT, “The motivation
behind this seminar is to seek knowledge and a better understanding of the logistics and humanitarian challenges facing people in the Middle East, and not least of all to arm ourselves with knowledge put that knowledge into useful assistance.”
Minister of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs,
Sean Sherlock spoke about the government positioning in relation to humanitarian donations and expenditure, “Irish taxpayers have been responding to Syria through Irish Aid
& NGOs since 2011; giving – €41m funding”. However, the Minister of State added that the “Global private sector must go beyond corporate social responsibility, by deploying people as well as funding”. How Ireland positions its funding and people is a question of leadership, to be effective we need “Ireland to be the thought leaders in this space”.
Mr Jody Clarke then spoke, and gave incredible insights into the scale of the challenge in the Middle East. Jody was very clear in his message, we in Ireland and in Europe have a responsibility to understand the situation that is forcing millions of people to become displaced from their home – “Let me be clear refugees do not cause terrorism. Terrorism causes refugees. Last year, of the top 10 refugee hosting countries not one of them was in the EU; and they do it without fanfare”. Europe and Ireland needs to rise to the challenge. So far we have received a minuscule number of people that are fleeing terror and there is a lot more to do, “Lebanon is about the size of Munster yet it has one million refugees - can you imagine?”
Let us imagine, for a moment, let us countenance the sheer disruption to the very fabric of existence of millions of
 Td sean sherlock, minister of state in the department of Foreign a airs
  The CharTered InsTITuTe of LogIsTICs & TransporT 57

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