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Overseas Development Aid.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 1 June 2005

Wednesday, 1 June 2005

Questions (153, 154)

Joe Higgins

Question:

161 Mr. J. Higgins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has a revised timetable for meeting the UN target for overseas development aid of 0.7% of GNP given that the Government has admitted that it will not meet its original timetable of reaching the target by 2007. [18526/05]

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Joe Higgins

Question:

162 Mr. J. Higgins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the way in which he proposes to meet the UN target for overseas development aid of 0.7% of GNP in view of the fact that for the last three years the percentage of GNP going to overseas development aid has fallen from 0.41% to 0.39%. [18527/05]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 161 and 162 together.

The allocation for 2005 provides for an increase of €70 million in Government spending on official development assistance this year. This will bring total Government aid to the developing world to approximately €545 million in 2005, the highest allocation in the 30 year history of the aid programme. In addition, the Government has agreed to provide further increases of €65 million in each of the years 2006 and 2007. These very substantial increases mean that over the three years from 2005 to 2007, €1.8 billion will be spent by Ireland on development assistance. As a result, Ireland will maintain its position as one of the world's leading aid donors on a per capita basis. This three year multi-annual commitment, incorporating very substantial annual increases, gives my Department a sound basis to carry forward the long-term planning which is so important for development work.

The Government remains strongly committed to achieving the UN target for expenditure on ODA. The issue of how best to meet the target, and in what timeframe, is under ongoing review.

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