Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations has welcomed the announcement in today’s budget that spending on Official Development Assistance (ODA) will increase by €110 million in 2019.  
Suzanne Keatinge, CEO of Dóchas, said: “We are extremely pleased to see this increase in the overseas aid budget for 2019 – the most significant budget increase for ODA in over a decade. This is the credibility injection that we have been seeking and demonstrates the Government’s sincere commitment to reaching the UN target of spending 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) on overseas aid.
“With 68.5 million people forcibly displaced globally, world hunger levels rising in 2017 for the third year running, and 100 million additional people at risk of poverty by 2030 due to climate change, the Government’s continued commitment to overseas aid is vital. This increase is a resounding affirmation of that ambition.  
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, and Minister Ciaran Cannon, to engage on international development. Today’s announcement is a heartening reinforcement of what we already knew to be true – modern Ireland is a compassionate nation dedicated to improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalised people.”
Keatinge continued: “We were, however, disappointed not to see the introduction of more urgent measures to mitigate the effects of climate change. Climate change disproportionately affects those living on the margins of society.
“Our members are also conscious of the need to ensure that aid is well spent. We have therefore welcomed the dialogue with Irish Aid on their upcoming white paper, which will provide strong strategic direction to ensure that aid is spent effectively.”
Suzanne Keatinge, Dóchas CEO, is available for comment.
Notes for 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. Dóchas currently has 58 member organisations. For more information, visit: www.dochas.ie.
 The Dóchas pre-budget submission (full text), launched in September, called on the Government to publish a roadmap to meet the 0.7% commitment on a planned and phased basis by 2025. The first step on this path, outlined in the submission, was to increase the ODA spend by 0.05% (€147m) in Budget 2019, allowing Ireland to move to a total of 0.41% of GNI* (€854m).
 UNHCR Global Trends Report 2017: http://www.unhcr.org/globaltrends2017/.
 Hallegatte, S., M. Bangalore, L. Bonzanigo, M. Fay, T. Kane, U. Narloch, J. Rozenberg, D. Treguer and A. Vogt-Schilb. 2016. Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/22787/9781464....