Wednesday, 26 January 2022
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
83. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the level of funding provided by his Department to programmes which help students from developing countries to remain in education for longer which is an objective of the Global Island Strategy. [3675/22]
A Better World, the Government's policy for international development, committed to the scaling up of Irish Aid support for education.
In 2018, my Department made a pledge to provide €250 million in support to education up to 2023. By the end of 2020, Irish Aid had allocated over €113 million in assistance to education. The final outturn for 2021 is currently being calculated. These funds are supporting students in developing countries to complete primary and secondary education, as well as to move on to technical and vocational training or higher education.
Irish Aid’s education support has a strong focus on equity and inclusion. Irish Aid puts a particular emphasis on girls’ education, knowing that girls, especially as they reach adolescence, are more likely to have their education cut short. In 2020 Ireland launched a global call to action – the Drive for Five - calling on all governments and stakeholders to commit to transformative actions to get all adolescent girls into school and learning in safe, supportive, and healthy environments.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education across the globe. Schools closed in 194 countries and 1.6 billion students missed on classroom instruction, many for months. During the early days of the pandemic, Irish Aid helped countries to ensure continuity of education for all children, especially girls. We are now supporting partners to safely reopening schools, with improved facilities, and interventions to make up for learning losses.
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is Irish Aid’s largest education partner and is supporting over 67 developing countries to sustain learning and mitigate the education impacts of the pandemic. Ireland contributed €25 million to the GPE between 2018 and 2020. Last year, I made a new pledge to contribute €60 million to the GPE over five years, €10 million of which is earmarked for girls' education.
Children and youth in humanitarian emergencies or protracted crises are most vulnerable to missing education or dropping out completely. Ireland has a history of supporting education in emergencies, particular for Palestinian children through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Irish Aid also funds non-governmental organisations to provide education support for refugee and displaced children in the Sahel, in Central African Republic, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Jordan, South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia.
In A Better World, the government committed to scaling up our support for education in emergencies. In 2019 Ireland joined Education Cannot Wait, a global fund dedicated to supporting education in situations of war, forced displacement, natural and man-made, disasters and pandemics. To date, Ireland has contributed €8.85 million to Education Cannot Wait, and has committed an additional €3 million in 2022.
84. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the funding provided by his Department to an organisation (details supplied) in 2021; and the countries or regions to which this support was directed. [3676/22]
My Department, through the Irish Aid programme, is a strong supporter of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global humanitarian network of 80 million people that assists those facing disaster, conflict and health and social emergencies. The Movement comprises the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC). The IFRC is the federation of 192 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Organisations within the Movement share common principles but are not linked hierarchically.
Ireland and the ICRC have a Memorandum of Understanding for 2021-2022, under which Ireland commits to maintain its core funding of the ICRC at a minimum of €10 million annually. Irish Aid provided €16.1 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) last year: in addition to the core funding of €10 million, my Department, through Irish Aid, also funded the ICRC’s programming in Syria (€2.5 million), Ethiopia (€1 million), Burkina Faso (€500,000), Chad (€500,000), Mali (€500,000), Niger (€500,000) and Mozambique (€600,000).
Separately, Ireland contributed over €2.3 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) in 2021. This included €1 million to the IFRC's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) and €600,000 in core funding. Ireland also funded IFRC programming in Haiti (€355,000), St Vincent & the Grenadines (€200,000), Brazil (€100,000) and Lithuania (€100,000) in 2021.