Press release: Impact of Brexit on international development must not be forgotten

07 april 2017

Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations

 Thursday 6th April 2017


Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations has today highlighted the impact that Brexit will have on the international development and humanitarian aid sector.

Speaking after a session of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade today, Dóchas CEO, Suzanne Keatinge said, “We are now facing a period of significant political uncertainty following the official triggering of Article 50 by Theresa May on 29th March. This political uncertainty will not spare the international development sector.

“Dóchas conducted a survey of our members in November 2016—which saw 76% of Dóchas members reporting that they felt Brexit would have a negative impact on their work, with 42% experiencing that impact already. These implications must be considered as the negotiations on Brexit continue.”

The withdrawal of the UK from the European Union is expected to lead to a substantial reduction in the EU development budget. The UK’s contribution to this budget was £1.3 billion in 2015, around 15% of the overall budget. The UK has also contributed approximately one-fifth of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), which provides assistance in emergency situations, and has been responding to the current refugee crisis.

Suzanne Keatinge continued, “At this moment, there are more questions than answers in relation to the impact of Brexit, but the development perspective has to be kept in mind during the negotiations. Brexit must be about more than internal issues of trade, security, border controls and the movement of people. We need to continue to insist on breaking down barriers, not re-building them in order to support and protect the poorest of the poor.”


For further information, please contact Aideen Blackwood, 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 represents 62 organisations working in the field of international development, with 44 full member organisations and 18 associate member organisations.

  • Also speaking at today’s session of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade on Brexit were Raphaëlle Faure, Senior Researcher, Overseas Development Institute (ODI); Sorley McCaughey, Head of Advocacy, Christian Aid Ireland; Vikki Brennan, Director, Proudly Made in Africa.  Briefing papers available on request.

  • Further information on Dóchas members’ survey on Brexit can be found here.