Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Department of Foreign Affairs
Overseas Development Aid
Question 211: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the annual funding he anticipates allocating for overseas development assistance for 2011 to 2014, inclusive, expressed in nominal terms and in terms of GNP, in view of the savings he intends to make over the course of the national recovery plan; the year he intends to reach the UN target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45815/10]
Ireland has committed to achieving the UN target to provide 0.7% of Gross National Product (GNP) for Official Development Assistance (ODA) by 2015. The EU has committed to achieving the target collectively by 2015, and has set an interim target of 0.51% for Ireland and other Member States in 2010. This year, the Government has allocated a total of €671 million for ODA. On current projections, this will amount to at least 0.52% of GNP, ensuring that Ireland exceeds the EU interim target.
The Government remains committed to the 0.7% target. However, the reality is that further progress towards its achievement must be influenced by the extremely challenging economic difficulties facing the country. The National Recovery Plan sets out the budgetary framework for the next four years, in order to restore stability to the public finances. This is an essential prerequisite for the resumption of sustainable economic growth, which in turn can provide the only sound basis for the resumption of sustainable growth in the aid programme.
Future allocations for ODA will be based on success in restoring stable public finances, as well as our international commitments. Later today, the Minister for Finance will present the Budget to the House. It will include the Government's allocation for overseas development for 2011. The broad aim will be to consolidate ODA at this year's levels, maintaining spending at 0.52% of GNP. In the context of our very difficult economic circumstances, I believe this is a significant achievement, and clear evidence of our commitment to the fight against global poverty and hunger.