Dóchas – The Government announced in today’s budget that spending on Official Development Assistance (ODA) will increase by €21million to €837m in 2020.
Suzanne Keatinge, CEO of Dóchas, said: “We recognise the financial constraints placed on the Government as a result of the uncertainty of Brexit, so this increase is welcome. We will, however, continue to seek reassurance that the Government remains committed to reaching the 0.7% target of ODA by 2025. It is in times of uncertainty that it is most important not to forget the most marginalised in societies, and that’s why spending on international aid is so critical.”
Keatinge continued: “We also acknowledge the leadership shown by the Government in launching its new policy for International Development, ‘A Better World’ earlier this year. ODA is vital to deliver on this bold and principled plan which has a clear focus on prioritising reaching those furthest behind first. We therefore call for greater efforts to get cross-party agreement to commit to, and publish a roadmap of year-on-year percentage increases, in order to reach the UN target of spending 0.7 percent of Gross National Income* (GNI*) by 2025. Having a planned trajectory on overseas aid will ensure more certainty, while acknowledging that increases will continue to depend on economic growth in Ireland”.
Finola Finnan, chair of Dóchas said: “Official Development Assistance (ODA) offers a vital source of funding for international development and humanitarian assistance, with Irish NGOs providing a critical role in the delivery of effective aid. We know that 94% of the Irish public believe it is important to support poorer countries; they care about supporting those that are suffering from hunger, injustice and conflict.”
“The climate emergency also reminds us that it’s small island states and developing countries who are currently withstanding the worst of our own excesses towards the climate crisis. We urge the Government to continue to show leadership and ambition toward international development; only then will Ireland hope to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” she continued.
For further information, please contact Frances Hague at email@example.com or on 01-4053801
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.
 The Dóchas pre-budget submission, launched in September, called on the Government to increase Ireland’s ODA commitment by no less than €144million allowing us to move to a total of 0.44% of GNI* in 2020. We also asked for a published roadmap that commits to a year-on-year percentage increase to reach the internationally recognised target of 0.7% spend by 2025.
 The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (also known as Agenda 2030) is an international commitment made by every country represented at the United Nations, including Ireland, to eradicate poverty, address growing inequality and meet climate targets. The multi-lateral agreement was signed in 2015, and every country is expected to meet the goals by 2030. Ireland’s National Implementation Plan for the SDGs 2018-2021 (NIP) was released in April 2018, with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment leading on promotion and oversight. Dóchas, as a member of Coalition2030, a group of over 100 Irish organisations campaigning about the Goals, continues to call for more urgency to implement them at home and aboard.