Thursday, 18 November 2021
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
211. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which Irish Aid continues to target the appropriate locations globally with particular reference to ensuring that both multilateral and bilateral aid reaches those for whom it was intended; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56787/21]
Ireland's Official Development Assistance (ODA), is directed through multilateral and bilateral channels, to countries and people who are in greatest need. A Better World, Ireland's international development policy, emphasizes this approach throughout. The policy confirms Ireland's emphasis on the key sectors that affect the poorest most, such as education, health, and food, and a commitment to ensuring gender equality and climate action is addressed. A Better World also commits to the overarching objective of reaching those that are furthest behind first in all our work.
Our ability to follow-through on these commitments in practice is evident in, for example, the high proportion of Irish Aid funding which targets least developed and low income countries. Where the average DAC member's bilateral allocation to these countries is just under one quarter, half of Irish ODA is bilateral aid to low income and least developed countries. Irish ODA also places a strong emphasis on fragile contexts.
Our commitment to, and ability to deliver on, a needs-based allocation of development assistance is also internationally recognised. In 2020, the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) highlighted Ireland as "an excellent humanitarian partner", with its funding models a "useful inspiration for other DAC donors". On average, around 20% of the Irish Aid budget each year is spent on humanitarian response.
Last year, the respected international think-tank ODI assessed the characteristics of ODA expenditure in leading donors and found Ireland to be the most principled donor, noting specifically Ireland's needs-based approach.