Trócaire CEO, Caoimhe de Barra, said. “We welcome the increase which brings the total in overseas development assistance to €1.22 billion. Investment in global humanitarian and development needs is vital. Countries in the Global South face escalating humanitarian crises due to climate change, the economic impact of Covid – 19, conflict, gender inequality, unsustainable and inequitable global food systems, and the failure of international community to live up to their commitments on overseas aid.”
She said the €30 million in humanitarian aid announced for the Horn of Africa is welcome given that 22 million people in the region are currently facing starvation due to ongoing drought, with this figure projected to rise to 26 million by the end of 2022.
Ms de Barra added: “Across the Horn of Africa, millions of people are affected by severe drought and suffering massive displacement due to four failed consecutive rainy seasons which have resulted in a million and a half people already forced to leave their homes. The number of people experiencing severe hunger around the world has tripled since 2019 and the fact that people are dying of hunger in 2022 is an unacceptable political failure.”
While Trócaire welcomed the increase in overseas aid, Ms de Barra said there is still a significant way to go before the government meets its commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on ODA by 2030, and its UN obligations to provide its fair share of Climate Finance.
“The Global South is bearing the brunt of climate impacts, including droughts, floods, famines, storms, sea level rise and death. Even though it contributes least to climate change the global south suffers more than 90% of its impacts, and 98% of the deaths associated with climate breakdown. It is crucial that Ireland’s UN obligations to climate finance are met outside of its existing commitments to ODA, which commits donor countries to providing “new and additional financial resources” for addressing climate change.” Ireland needs to significantly scale up climate finance allocations to meet the growing needs.
“We need an urgent increase in humanitarian assistance and long-term funding to local organisations at the forefront of the response, including women-led organisations that are best positioned to respond to hunger and human rights issues in their communities.”
Ms de Barra added that despite all of the challenges Trócaire – with the support of Irish Aid and the generosity of the Irish public – worked with local partners to help change the lives of more than 1.8 million people in 24 countries last year, tackling the root causes of poverty, injustice and violence.