Press Release: 80% of Irish people think Ireland should spend more on aid

15 june 2017

Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations

Thursday, 15th July 2017


A new poll commissioned by Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations, has found that a large majority of Irish people support increased government spending on overseas aid.

The poll, which was conducted by Ipsos MRBI in April 2017, has found that 80% of respondents believe it is important for Ireland’s international reputation that we keep our promise to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) – or 70 cent in every €100 – on overseas aid.

Dóchas CEO, Suzanne Keatinge said, “It is clear that Irish people are highly supportive of Ireland keeping its pledge to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid. Ireland has a long history of global solidarity and the results of this poll are a clear representation of that solidarity. 8 out of 10 people believe that we must increase spending on overseas aid in order to protect our international reputation.

“The Irish public understands that overseas aid goes to help the most marginalized people, in the poorest countries in the world. They understand that aid works. Globally, there were 700 million fewer people living in conditions of extreme poverty in 2010 than in 1990. The mortality rate for children under 5 dropped by 41% between 1990 and 2011; and over the last 20 years, more than 2.1 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water.

“This success is a direct result of the aid provided by wealthy countries like Ireland. And over the next 13 years we can go even further. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were signed in 2015 – following international negotiations co-chaired by Ireland. They represent a transformative agenda – one that commits us to eradicating extreme poverty, ending hunger and tackling climate change. By working together, we can make that a reality by 2030.

“It is time that the Irish Government, under the new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and new Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney, catches up with the Irish public and meets their commitment on overseas aid.”

The poll also found that the Irish public over-estimate the amount that the government is spending on overseas aid, with respondents believing that we spend an average of 8.46% on overseas aid.


For further information, please contact Aideen Blackwood, Dóchas Communications Officer, on 01-4053801 or by email at

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. For more information, visit:

  • Dóchas currently has 61 member organisations, who are working in Ireland on issues related to international development.  A list of Dóchas members can be found here -

  • This research was conducted by Ipsos MRBI from 18th – 30th April 2017 among a nationally representative sample of 1000 adults aged 15+.

  • A more detailed breakdown of the polling results has been attached to this release.