Thursday, 27 January 2011
Department of Foreign Affairs
Overseas Development Aid
Question 86: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on the current overseas aid programme; the way he envisages the programme being sustained and expanded into the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4348/11]
For 2011, the Government has provided an overall allocation for Official Development Assistance (ODA) of €669 million. Of this total, €534 million will be administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and a further estimated €135 million will come from other Government Departments, including Ireland's share of the EU Development Cooperation budget.
The 2011 allocation ensures our ODA effort is stabilised at approximately 0.52% of GNP which remains ahead of the EU average. 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. As I have stated many times the stabilisation of our public finances and the return of economic growth are the best foundations for restoring growth to the development aid programme.
The Government's aid programme is the Irish people's aid programme. We are proud of its strong international reputation for quality and effectiveness and in particular for its sharp focus on the poorest countries and communities in sub-Saharan Africa. I am determined to maintain the high quality of our aid programme and ensure that we continue to deliver a programme that has maximum impact and is rigorously focused on achieving clear results for the lives of the poor, the marginalised and the hungry.