Written Answers. - Overseas Development Aid.

Joe Higgins

Question:

162 Mr. J. Higgins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his Department has drawn up a detailed plan and timescale to implement its stated intention of increasing overseas development aid to meet the UN target of 0.7% of GNP by 2007. [11009/03]

Total ODA increased from €320 million, 0.33% of GNI, in 2001 to some €420 million, 0.41% of GNI, in 2002. Current indications are that ODA in 2003 will reach €450 million, our highest ever level of spending on development co-operation. This will approximate to 0.41% of GNI in 2003. Maintaining our contribution as a proportion of GNI in these difficult times is a measure of the Government's clear commitment to the aid programme and to achieving the UN target of 0.7% by 2007.

No detailed timescale for the progressive achievement of this target has been drawn up. The level of funding required will depend on patterns of economic growth and levels of GNI. The scale and timing of the required increases will be considered on an ongoing basis.