Press release: Irish Development NGOs welcome increase in overseas aid budget

10 october 2017

Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations

 Tuesday, 10th October 2017 

IRISH DEVELOPMENT NGOS WELCOME INCREASE IN OVERSEAS AID BUDGET

Dóchas – The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations has welcomed the announcement in today’s budget that overseas aid will be increased by €13 million in 2018.

Suzanne Keatinge, Dóchas CEO said “Today’s announcement of an increase in the overseas aid budget is a welcome step towards getting Ireland back on track on our commitments on overseas aid. While the level of this increase falls far short of our hopes, it remains a step in the right direction towards reaching the agreed UN target of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI*) on overseas aid. This target was agreed in 2000, and if it is achieved, just 70 cent out of every €100 spent would be going to help the poorest and most marginalised people in the world.”

In a pre-budget submission launched in August, Dóchas called on the government to put in place a realistic multi-annual plan to achieve 0.7% by 2025. The first step in this process was a call for an increase of €128 million in Budget 2018, which would have seen Ireland’s percentage spend on aid rise from 0.33% in 2016 to 0.38% in 2018.

Keatinge continued, “We are encouraged by remarks made by Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe, during his budget speech today that he intends for there to be a more substantial increase in funding for aid in Budget 2019. This echoes recent comments by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney. We will hold the government to this commitment and we look forward to working with them on developing a published roadmap to achieving 0.7% by 2025.

“Overseas aid from Ireland is known to improve the lives of the world’s poorest and most marginalised people. At a time of unprecedented political, economic and social upheaval globally – with 128 million people in 33 countries currently in need of humanitarian assistance, and 65 million people displaced from their homes by war and conflict – it is more important than ever.”

Dóchas also welcomed the announcement of a VAT compensation scheme for charities in this year’s budget, which has come about as a result of a long campaign by the non-profit sector.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Aideen Blackwood, Dóchas Communications Officer on 01-4053801 or by email aideen@dochas.ie.

Notes for the Editor: