Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Overseas Development Aid
107. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which aid continues to be provided globally whether in a bilateral or multilateral arrangement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53810/19]
Ireland’s development cooperation programme is an integral part of our foreign policy and an important statement of our global citizenship. The programme gives Ireland a significant global presence and footprint – including in fragile states and conflict-affected contexts.
The 2018 Annual Report on Ireland's Official Development Assistance (ODA), published in October, details the range of modalities and channels involved in the delivery of Ireland's development cooperation programme. In 2018, €449.43 million was allocated through bilateral channels, including over €169 million channelled through NGOs. A further €342.2 million was disbursed through the EU and the wider multilateral system, where core missions and objectives closely aligned with Ireland’s policy priorities. Over 130 countries received assistance from Ireland in 2018, either bilaterally or through at least one of Ireland's multilateral or other partnerships.
Our bilateral partnerships and our work through the EU, United Nations and other multilateral organisations, have enabled Ireland to direct vital assistance to people living in challenging and insecure environments. The Overseas Development Institute, an internationally recognised policy think-tank, has ranked Ireland as the world's leading donor in targeting extreme poverty.
For 2020, the Government has allocated almost €838 million for ODA. This represents an increase of almost €21 million on the 2019 budget allocation.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) assesses the extent to which aid is tied to trade. In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, they reported that of the approximately US$106 billion in total bilateral commitments, US$13.2 billion was tied with a further US$2.6 billion partially untied, giving an overall total of partially untied and tied aid of almost 15%.
Evidence has shown that such "tied" aid increases the costs of a development intervention/project by as much as 15 to 30 percent. Untying aid, on the other hand, avoids unnecessary costs and gives the recipient the freedom to procure goods and services from virtually any country.
The OECD in an effort to reduce the volume of tied aid has recommended to its member countries that all aid provided to least developed countries, heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs), Other Low-Income Countries (OLICs) and countries which are only eligible to financing from International Development Association (IDA) should be untied.
Ireland remains one of the few countries which has consistently provided untied aid. Ireland's new policy for international development A Better World, launched earlier this year, commits the government to maintaining an untied, quality, focused and coherent development programme. During the consultation process there was strong public support for continuing this commitment to untied aid.