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Increase in overseas aid is a positive step to achieving Ireland’s commitment to reduce global poverty

10 October 2017

Trócaire has welcomed today’s Budget 2018 announcement to increase overseas Official Development Assistance (ODA). However, Ireland is still way off track to achieving its international commitment.

Athanasie Nirere

Athanasie Nirere, aged 36, and her baby daughter Kelia Irakumba, four months. Athanasie is part of an Irish Aid-funded project, which provided her with a loan to set up a shop selling farming produce. Now that her business is doing so well, her family have electricity and access to water from their home. Photo credit: Alan Whelan/Trócaire, September 2017.

Trócaire welcomes today’s Budget 2018 announcement to increase ODA by €13m in spending.
 
Speaking recently at the launch of the Irish Aid annual report, Minister Simon Coveney highlighted the importance of having a clear roadmap to achieve Ireland’s long standing commitment to provide 0.7pc of GNI* by 2025.
 
Ireland’s future reputation and credibility as an international development actor hinges on meeting its 0.7 per cent UN target for ODA by 2025 in order to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals on which Ireland played a leading role.

This Budget shows progress on meeting this objective. However, the Government must now publish a timetable to outline exactly how we are going to meet our international obligations by 2025.  
 
The quality of Ireland’s aid is internationally renowned for its strong poverty reduction focus and Ireland’s ODA budget is responsible for life-changing and life-saving interventions in some of the world’s most difficult environments.
 
Last year alone, Trócaire reached 2.6 million people – from Syrian refugees fleeing conflict to the drought and famine in East Africa which is affecting over 25million people.
 
The announcement of an increase in ODA is timely as deepening inequality, climate change and global conflict are contributing to the unprecedented level of humanitarian needs across the globe.
 
Since January 2017, the number of people needing humanitarian aid has risen by 12.5 million people to 141.1 million in 37 countries where natural disaster or conflict has destroyed lives.
 
Irish people have always supported Trócaire’s work and are one of the most charitable nations in the world. This should be reflected in a government roadmap to meet international obligations. We now more than ever have a responsibility to look the world’s most vulnerable.