Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Review of White Paper on Irish Aid: Statements, Questions and Answers
James Heffernan (Labour)
I welcome the Minister of State and wish him continued success in his work. As has been mentioned by a couple of previous speakers, human rights issues in African countries like Malawi, Ethiopia and Uganda have been mentioned. I understand that if they receive 10% of their funding from a donor country they will be deemed to be operating illegally in some countries and the focus on human rights might be as we would like it to be. Can he elaborate on NGOs working in those countries, particularly Irish NGOs such as Trócaire, GOAL and Concern?
This morning the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Leo Varadkar, and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Richard Bruton, made an announcement about Shannon Airport. On initial reading it seems to be good news for the mid-west. However, it was proposed that the airport would be a humanitarian aid hub for Ireland and this part of Europe in order to assist in a rapid response to a humanitarian crisis. Can the Minister of State explain the current position?