Press Release - Budget 2016 finally halts the slide in overseas aid but much more is needed for Ireland to honour its international commitment

13 october 2015

Dóchas

The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations

Press Release
13 Oct 2015

Budget 2016 finally halts the slide in overseas aid but much more is needed for Ireland to honour its international commitment

Dóchas today gives a cautious welcome to the announcement that the Government is to increase the overseas aid budget to €640 Million in 2016.

‘This budget is a welcome step in the right direction, finally halting the slide in overseas aid of recent years. We welcome the increase of 40 million euro in the aid budget. However, it is important to note that Ireland is not making any meaningful headway towards the target of 0.7% of GNI which remains Government policy. Without year-on-year plans and commitments, the 0.7% target remains as elusive as it was 14 year ago,’ says Hans Zomer, Director of Dóchas.

Dóchas reminds the Government of the overwhelming public support in Irish society for the overseas aid budget with 75% of Irish people believing we should continue to invest in overseas aid even in this economically difficult time.

It is estimated that Ireland’s ODA in 2016 will represent 0.36% of GNI, a slight increase on the projected 0.35% for 2015.

We are encouraged that just three weeks ago, in front of world leaders and Pope Francis, the Taoiseach called for decisive action to help implement the new Sustainable Development Goals – including Ireland’s commitment to the 0.7% target.

 ‘0.7% is not just a number – it’s trained teachers and doctors all over the world. It’s stability and peace and healthier more educated communities. It is Ireland’s promise to the world, and we have yet to honour it,’ continues Zomer.

Dóchas today also welcomes the allocation of 25 million euro for the Refugee Resettlement and Relocation programme.

‘The world has seen multiple humanitarian crises in recent times, including the ongoing refugee crisis. If we are to tackle the root causes of these crises – instability, conflict, poverty, inequality and climate change - we need sustained investment in overseas aid,’ says Hans Zomer, Director of Dóchas.

[ENDS]

Media Contact:

For more information or to arrange interviews contact Naomi Linehan, Media Officer for Dóchas:

Ph: 01 405 3801 / 0861077079 e: naomi@dochas.ie

Notes to the Editor:

  • Dóchas is the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations. It provides a forum for consultation and cooperation between its members, and a platform for them to speak with a single voice on development issues. For more information, visit: www.dochas.ie
     
  • Ireland's aid programme is consistently rated among the best in the world in terms of efficiency and overall quality - by organisations such as the United Nations, the OECD and independent think tanks such as the Centre for Global Development.~
     
  • A 2014 report measuring the quality of overseas development assistance by the Brookings Institute placed Irish Aid in the top 4 in each category including efficiency & transparency.
     
  • MRBI poll measuring Irish public support for ODA: http://www.dochas.ie/Shared/Files/1/140902_Ipsos_MRBI_Survey_shows_support_for_overseas_aid_remains_strong.pdf
     
  •  Ireland’s overseas aid programme (“Official Development Assistance”) as % of national income, 2000-2016:

Year

ODA as a
% of GNP

ODA in million €

     

2011

0.5

657.04

2012

0.47

628.90

2013

0.46

637.10

2014

0.39

614.86

2015

0.35

601.19

2016

0.36

641.00