Fine Gael Clare TD and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, Pat Breen, has today (Tuesday) welcomed the announcement in Budget 2016 of an increase in Ireland’s overseas development aid budget.
“Budget 2016 seeks to improve life for people at home in Ireland, as well as in the poorest regions across the globe. In recognising Ireland’s responsibility to the world’s most vulnerable people, Budget 2016 increases our overseas development aid budget by €40 million on last year’s figure. Our ODA budget for 2016 will be a substantial €640 million, a 7% increase in the overall budget.
“Ireland has a longstanding and proud reputation as being a very generous overseas aid donor. While we have been through a very tough couple of years here at home, we did not neglect the world’s poor and continued a substantial approach to overseas development aid. Last year we ensured no cuts to the ODA budget and this year, now that we have the fastest growing economy in Europe, it is both appropriate and very welcome that we are increasing our contribution.
“This marks the first significant increase to our ODA budget in seven years and reflects the commitment made by the Taoiseach at the United Nations Summit in New York this September to enhance our contribution. This UN meeting marked the culmination of an important body of work by Ireland, along with our co-facilitator Kenya, in the development of the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals, which replaced the Millennium Development Goals.
“The Irish Aid programme works to reduce hunger, boost development and improve equality in some of the world’s poorest regions and Irish people can be proud of the work done in our name across the globe.”