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Trócaire welcomes overseas aid increase in Budget 2019

Trócaire has welcomed the increase in Official Development Assistance (ODA) in Budget 2019 as Ireland takes a significant step towards its goal of reaching long-term UN ODA targets.

ODA has been increased by €110million. While this figure falls slightly short of yearly projections in keeping with the Programme for Government commitment of reaching the UN ODA target of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2030, Trócaire believes it is a notable step in the right direction.

New Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra said: “Trócaire welcomes the announcement to increase funding for the world’s poorest people. Significantly, Ireland is heading in the right direction towards reaching its commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on overseas development.

“As recently as last March, members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade supported the view that a commitment to achieving ODA expenditure of 0.7% of GNI by 2030 is critical to the future of international development, and in order to reach the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals.

“However, while today’s increase is indeed welcome, Trócaire reiterates our call to develop a strategy towards fully reaching the 0.7% target. In keeping with the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, we call on the Government to submit a multi-annual plan to reach 0.7% ODA to the Committee on Budgetary Oversight for consideration. 

“Trócaire helped 2.8 million people in the developing world last year and it cannot be overstated how important Ireland’s ODA budget is in helping us undertake such work.”

High public support for overseas development in Ireland

De Barra noted continued high public support for overseas development in Ireland. While praising the quality of Irish Aid’s impact overseas, she said it is only right that this public support is matched by Government ambition.

Recent EU surveys suggest there is huge support from the Irish public for international aid, with 93% believing that helping people in developing countries is important,” she said. “The Irish people have continually and generously supported Trócaire throughout our history and we believe it is right that Government policy should continue to build on and reflect this feeling of compassion towards the world’s most vulnerable people.

“Ireland, through Irish Aid, is rightly considered a world leader in terms of the quality and impact of our overseas assistance. Thankfully Ireland has resisted the worrying international trend of diverting development assistance funding away from poverty reduction towards the security, commercial and migration objectives of donor countries”.

No increase in carbon tax

“However, the Budget is also a critical moment for furthering climate action and it is therefore extremely surprising and disappointing that the Government has ignored the clear and concrete recommendations made by The Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, the ESRI and the Climate Change Advisory Council for an increase in carbon tax.

“While this is only one among a multitude of measures required to address climate change, it is a major opportunity missed in Budget 2019. The outcome from the Citizens’ Assembly demonstrated that the public understand the necessity to act and are ready to support these types of measures when applied in a socially progressive manner.

“The Special Report released by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this week is further evidence of the urgency around supporting the world’s most vulnerable people. The report emphasised that we are in a race against time to prevent further devastation to the planet, our common home and, in particular, the most vulnerable people in the developing world.”

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