Foreign Affairs Committee welcomes Irish Aid assurances on aid agency GOAL

March 7th, 2012 - Pat Breen

7th March 2012

The Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade has welcomed assurances received from Irish Aid officials that aid agency GOAL has taken on board the recommendations of the audit review and is overhauling its management and corporate governance structures.

The Committee was briefed on the government’s aid programme, Irish Aid, which is administered by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and which supports a wide range of NGOs and their work in long term development, humanitarian response and development education. On average, about 32% of the Department’s International Cooperation budget is channelled annually to NGOs. Almost €90m of this budget is channelled to Irish NGOs and missionaries for long term development.

Committee Chairman, Pat Breen TD said: “I welcome GOAL’s response to the audit report and its commitment to adhere to best practice in terms of governance. GOAL has made a huge contribution to the lives of millions over many years through its aid programmes and I would hope that it will continue to do so into the future.

I’d like to commend the officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who came here today to outline the new system for allocating Irish Aid funding. Many people in Ireland are rightly proud of our Development Aid programme and of the Irish Development NGO sector. It is important that it is working effectively and transparently. Funding should go to those organisations which are professional in their internal structures and effective in delivering results.”

Deputy Breen concluded: “Recently the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has re-designed its system of funding allocation to NGOs to one based on a more performance-focused and result-oriented approach. This is both timely and welcome.”