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Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Overseas Development Aid Oversight (19 Feb 2014)

Joe Costello: I propose to take Questions Nos. 68, 69 and 78 together. As Minister of State with responsibility for Ireland’s Official Development Assistance, I am very conscious of the need to have a high level of assurance that our development assistance is effective, reaches its intended beneficiaries and makes a real difference in the lives of the world’s poorest people. Programmes...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Overseas Development Aid Oversight (19 Feb 2014)

Joe Costello: In October 2012, all Irish development assistance due to be channelled through Government of Uganda systems was suspended, following the discovery of fraud in the Office of the Prime Minister. Since then the Government of Uganda has refunded in full the €4 million of Irish Aid funds which were misappropriated. Ireland continues to press the Government of Uganda for concerted action...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Election Monitoring Missions (11 Feb 2014)

Joe Costello: Further to my previous replies to Parliamentary Questions on this issue, I wish to reiterate the importance that Ireland attaches to participation in international election monitoring missions, particularly in the light of our strong commitment to the promotion of human rights and democracy. Ireland's election observation roster has been put in place to facilitate the deployment at short...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Departmental Expenditure (4 Feb 2014)

Joe Costello: Africa Day on 25 May is the official day of the African Union. Through Irish Aid, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has taken a leading role in encouraging and supporting initiatives to mark Africa Day in Ireland. The objectives are to increase awareness of the Government's aid programme, which is strongly focused on sub-Saharan Africa; to build greater public understanding of...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Election Monitoring Missions (4 Feb 2014)

Joe Costello: International election monitoring missions play an important role in the promotion of democracy and human rights. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade maintains and administers a roster of observers for such missions. The aim is to ensure that, when requested, Ireland is represented at an appropriate level in international observation missions for both elections and constitutional...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Overseas Development Aid (28 Jan 2014)

Joe Costello: As Deputies will be aware, in October 2012, the Tánaiste and I suspended over €16 million of development assistance which was due to be channelled through Government of Uganda systems, following the discovery of fraud in the Office of the Prime Minister. The Government of Uganda has since refunded in full the €4 million of Irish Aid funds which were misappropriated. ...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Humanitarian Aid (22 Jan 2014)

Joe Costello: I am deeply concerned at the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza which I witnessed firsthand during my visit to the occupied Palestinian territory last October. The situation has deteriorated in recent months due to an acute economic and energy crisis caused by the long standing restrictions on the movement of people and goods from Gaza, but was further exacerbated by the winter storms in...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Humanitarian Aid (21 Jan 2014)

Joe Costello: The tragic and unrelenting crisis in Syria has resulted in unprecedented levels of humanitarian need, requiring a sustained response from the international community. As the number of fatalities rises towards 130,000, there are now over 9.3 million people who are in need of immediate life-saving support. In addition to more than 6.5 million people who are displaced within Syria, there are...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Human Rights Issues (15 Jan 2014)

Joe Costello: The sudden passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill by the Ugandan Parliament is very regrettable. It is important however to note that this Bill is a Private Members Bill which has attracted serious concerns from senior members of the Government of Uganda, who attempted to stop the Bill’s passage through Parliament. The President will have to sign the Bill before it becomes law. ...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Humanitarian Aid (15 Jan 2014)

Joe Costello: Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, hit the Philippines on 8 November with devastating effects. Current estimates indicate that the Typhoon affected more than 14 million people, with almost 4 million remaining displaced, including approximately 1.5 million children. The full human toll of this disaster remains unclear but over 6,000 lives have been lost to date while...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Humanitarian Aid (15 Jan 2014)

Joe Costello: I propose to take Questions Nos. 87, 94 and 96 together. Significant progress has been made in recent years to improve the scale and effectiveness of the response of the international community to major disasters and humanitarian crises, with many lessons having been learned from previous crises such as the 2004 Tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Under the leadership of the UN Office...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Overseas Development Aid Expenditure (19 Dec 2013)

Joe Costello: I propose to take Questions Nos. 71 and 72 together. Ireland’s new Policy on International Development ‘One World One Future’ affirms our commitment to poverty reduction and to the centrality of development cooperation to Irish foreign policy. The Policy focuses sharply on the poorest countries and communities in sub-Saharan Africa and on three goals: reducing hunger;...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Departmental Expenditure (18 Dec 2013)

Joe Costello: Ireland provides support to post- graduate students from developing countries through a number of initiatives under the Government’s development cooperation programme, which is managed by Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The primary initiative is the Fellowship Training Programme, the objective of which is to strengthen the capacity of partner organisations...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Debt Relief (18 Dec 2013)

Joe Costello: Ireland is recognised internationally for our contribution to the fight against global poverty and hunger and our leading role in making international aid more effective. We have played a strong role in the development of an international consensus on the issue of debt cancellation for the least developed countries. When the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were being elaborated in...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Humanitarian Aid (18 Dec 2013)

Joe Costello: Ireland has funded programmes of assistance to Palestine for more than two decades reflecting a long-standing commitment to justice for the Palestinian people and to the peaceful development of a viable, sovereign Palestinian State. This funding addresses immediate humanitarian needs, as well as development priorities and the promotion of human rights. The key elements of our programme of...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Humanitarian Aid (18 Dec 2013)

Joe Costello: The protracted and tragic crisis in Syria has resulted in unprecedented levels of humanitarian need, requiring a sustained response from the international community. As the number of fatalities rises towards 120,000, including 12,000 children under five, there are now approximately nine million people in need of immediate life-saving support. In addition to more than 6.5 million people who...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Humanitarian Aid (18 Dec 2013)

Joe Costello: Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, hit the Philippines on 8 November with devastating effects. Current estimates indicate that the Typhoon affected more than 14 million people, with almost 4 million remaining displaced, including approximately 1.5 million children. The full human toll of this disaster remains unclear but over 6,000 lives have been lost to date. ...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Overseas Development Aid Expenditure (12 Dec 2013)

Joe Costello: Ireland’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget for 2013 is €622m, of which €497m is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade under Vote 27 International Co-operation, with the remainder comprising eligible funding by other Government Departments as well as eland’s share of the EU Development Cooperation budget. A full spend against Vote 27 is...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Humanitarian Aid (5 Dec 2013)

Joe Costello: I propose to take Questions Nos. 39, 43 and 44 together. The protracted and tragic crisis in Syria has resulted in unprecedented levels of humanitarian need, requiring a sustained response from the international community. As the number of fatalities rises towards 120,000, including 12, 000 children under five, there are now approximately nine million people who are in need of immediate...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Human Rights Issues (5 Dec 2013)

Joe Costello: I propose to take Questions Nos. 41 and 49 together. Last October, during my visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories to see the impact of Ireland’s aid programme, I witnessed firsthand the very difficult conditions on the ground in Gaza. I saw how the ongoing political turmoil and insecurity in the Middle East is resulting in a further deterioration of the humanitarian...

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