Written Answers. - Overseas Development Aid.

Ivor Callely

Question:

32 Mr. Callely asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the amount of Ireland's overseas development aid over the last five years; when it is envisaged that Ireland will achieve the United Nations target figure for overseas development aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Ireland's expenditure on overseas development aid over the last five years was as follows: 1988, £32.36 million; 1989, £34.53 million; 1990, £34.65 million; 1991, £45.03 million; 1992, £40.71 million. Expenditure in 1993 is expected to amount to £53 million.

The Programme for a Partnership Government envisages that the percentage of GNP committed to ODA will increase from 0.2 per cent in 1993 to 0.4 per cent in 1997, which will put Ireland on a par with most of our EC partners.

I believe that the targets in the Government programme are appropriate and realistic bearing in mind our own financial circumstances and the need to build up a capacity to implement a rapidly expanding programme. I hope that we can proceed as rapidly as possible towards achieving the UN goal of 0.7 per cent of GNP.