Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Department of Foreign Affairs
Overseas Development Aid
Question 361: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of applications he received under each fund of Ireland Aid annually since 2007; the number of successful applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25519/10]
Since 2007, the Government has allocated over €2.6 billion in funding under Vote 29 (International Cooperation) of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The Department, through Irish Aid, administers the Government's aid programme, which has a clear focus on the reduction of poverty and hunger, especially in the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition to the programme budgets in Ireland's nine priority countries, where we have a commitment to long term strategic assistance, Irish Aid channels funding through a range of partners. These include multilateral organisations, development Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and missionaries. Funding for NGOs represents over 20% of expenditure under Vote 29 annually and it is administered through a number of schemes which cover long term development work, development education and emergency and recovery. A large number of applications for funding is received by Irish Aid, on an ongoing basis, from civil society organisations and individuals.
In view of the number of applications received under the different headings over the past three years, I propose to write to the Deputy providing as much detail as is possible for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. The information for 2010 is not yet available. I will also provide the Deputy with copies of the Irish Aid Annual Reports for 2007 and 2008, which contain detail on the number and type of successful applications for those years. The Annual Report for 2009 will be published in the coming months.
Question 362: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the amount of disability funding as a percentage of overall funding annually since 2007; the details of Ireland Aid's disability strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25520/10]
Ireland's strategy to deal with disability in international development is guided by the White Paper on Irish Aid which recognises the inter-relationship between poverty and disability. Disabled people are more vulnerable to poverty and its effects and poor people are more at risk of becoming disabled through, for example, unsafe living environments; undernutrition; lack of access to immunisation; exposure to landmines; poor road safety; contracting communicable diseases and inadequate treatment when infected and through unsafe birthing services that disable both mothers and newborns that survive.
Ireland's development cooperation programme mainstreams disability and embraces the World Health Organisation's concept of disability as a complex phenomenon, which requires action across a diverse range of activities in order that disability is effectively prevented and to ensure that disabled people are not excluded or exploited. Also we work to ensure, where possible, that services are provided to assist disabled people to deal with their particular disabilities and the limitations associated with these.
Since 2007, Ireland's investment of over €100 million each year in health, HIV and communicable diseases, focussing on the world's poorest countries, is a substantial contribution to prevention of disability by making essential first-line services, vaccines and commodities available. Further, by providing these peripheral primary services, disabled people have better access to care.
Ireland's support to basic education in developing countries emphasises access by disabled and marginalised people and through support for better governance in its Programme Countries, we advocate for stronger voice and representation by marginalised and excluded groups, including disabled people and those caring for the disabled.
Ireland also provides support to programmes that directly assist disabled people and their carers to deal with disabilities and its consequences. This is mainly delivered as support to Non-government Organisations through the Civil Society Fund. Support for disability work amounted to 6.4% of this fund in 2007, 7.9% in 2008 and 7.4% in 2009. Furthermore, Ireland supports Concern, Goal, Trócaire, Christian Aid and Self Help Africa, all of which undertake health and human rights work that benefits disabled people and this work accounts for approximately 30% of their budgets.
Additionally, Irish Aid has a major programme and partnership with the International Labour Organisation which focuses on assisting people with disability and advocating on legislation for disability in Africa. This programme also focuses on assisting people with disability to gain employment and set up their own businesses. There is also a particular emphasis on disabled women. This programme has gained an enviable international reputation and is a flagship programme of its kind.
As a mainstreamed issue, it is not possible to present a specific amount of spending on disability as a percentage of overall Irish Aid funding. However I am arranging to have a list of discrete disability projects and programmes for 2009 sent to the Deputy. The full list for 2007 and 2008 are outlined in the Annual Reports for those years which have been placed in the Dáil Library.