As Budget time edges ever closer again and all stakeholders put in their asks to Government and state their cases for increased funding, we are no different. Dóchas is calling on the Government to significantly increase Overseas Development Aid (ODA) in the Budget to help tackle the triple crises of conflict, climate and hunger ravaging countries in the Global South.
With tax revenue at the end of July standing at €47.8 billion, up by €4.3 billion on the same period last year, Ireland has no excuse for not stepping up and standing by communities most in need around the world
The Government must make “real and tangible” progress in its longstanding commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA by increasing its allocation by €305 million in the forthcoming budget.
There are three key areas which need to be addressed if we are to truly move towards a sustainable and equal world for all, they are conflict, climate and hunger.
Conflict destroys education, enterprise, health, and social systems and services, plunging people into poverty. Typically, when there is conflict civilian populations are left entirely dependent on humanitarian assistance, with huge numbers of lives lost and millions left suffering.
As of May, only 15% of the amount needed for humanitarian appeals to support populations impacted by conflict has been funded.
Currently Sudan is engulfed in deadly and violent conflict, with one million people displaced within its borders and hundreds of thousands seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Millions in Ukraine, Yemen, Palestine and other countries are living in daily fear of conflict and violence and threats to their personal freedom and livelihoods.
Dóchas is calling on the Irish Government to:
- Build on our achievements as a member of the UN Security Council and use our role and reputation to influence relevant political players.
- Continue to increase humanitarian funding for conflict-affected and fragile states.
- Assure our domestic response to the Ukraine crisis is additional to current and future ODA spending.
As many as 828 million people – or 10 percent of the world’s population – go to bed hungry each night, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
People are being starved and prevented from living their lives due to numerous factors including conflict, inequality, climate change, biodiversity loss and the undermining of natural resource rights. Our increasingly dysfunction global food system leaves them vulnerable and defenceless against rising costs.
Dóchas is calling on the Government to:
- Show leadership through global initiatives, including the UN Food Systems Summit, to tackle hunger - and provide additional funding for food assistance to low-income countries.
- Scale up funding to respond to the short, medium and long-term impacts of the food security crisis, including using cash and vouchers.
- Earmark funding within the ODA budget to support the transition to a sustainable global food system.
Climate change presents the single most existential threat to human life on the planet. The impact is being acutely felt by communities across the global south, especially women and girls, who have contributed least to the climate crisis and have the fewest resources to deal with the consequences.
Climate change is driving migration and displacement. Over 70% of the world’s refugees and internally displaced people come from the most climate-vulnerable countries. Additionally, 93% of the countries most vulnerable to the climate crisis are in debt distress.
Dóchas is calling on the government to:
- Deliver on the €225m per annum of climate finance committed at a minimum - and to increase this according to the needs of countries, in line with Ireland paying its fair share.
- Ensure Ireland’s climate finance allocation is new and additional to any future increases in ODA.
- Urgently reduce polluting emissions across all sectors and phase out fossil fuels in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
Image: Elema, 56, with his camels near North Horr in Marsabit in the north
of Kenya. Years of drought in the area has seen even hardy animals like camels die.
Photo: Ed Ram/Concern Worldwide, Dec. 2021