Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Overseas Development Aid

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to set out interim targets in relation to funding levels for overseas development aid to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57462/12]

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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The Government is strongly committed to Ireland’s aid programme. The programme prioritises the fight against global poverty and hunger and is consistently rated internationally as one of the most effective in the world. It is strongly focused on the poorest countries and communities in sub-Saharan Africa, prioritising investments in the areas of education, health, good governance, food security and nutrition.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - the framework for international development policy up to 2015 - are central to Ireland’s overseas development programme, and to the Government's development policy. Globally, the incidence of poverty is reducing, and it is likely that the first Millennium Development Goal – to halve world poverty by 2015 – will be met. International aid has played a hugely important part in contributing to this progress.

For 2012, the Government provided some €639 million in total Official Development Assistance (ODA). In 2013, it is anticipated that ODA will amount to €623 million, a modest reduction on the 2012 level. Stabilising the ODA budget has been an important and very significant achievement for this Government, particularly in light of the extraordinarily difficult economic conditions facing the country. Progress towards achieving the UN target of 0.7% of GNP for development assistance can only be made through restoring sustainable growth in our economy.


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