Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Questions (12, 17, 54)

Lucinda Creighton

Question:

12. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the current situation is respect to the commitment to overseas development aid. [41066/13]

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Niall Collins

Question:

17. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he remains committed to the 0.7% of GNP target for overseas development aid to be achieved by 2015; if provision will be made to make further progress towards this target in budget 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41191/13]

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Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

54. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will confirm that, considering Ireland’s aid promise is made as a percentage of our national income, when the Government speaks of consolidating the overseas aid budget, he is referring to consolidating not the euro amount, but the ODA-GNI percentage. [41150/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 12, 17 and 54 together.

The Government is committed to Ireland’s overseas aid programme. This commitment was expressed and enhanced by the publication earlier this year of our new Policy on International Development, “One World, One Future”, which clearly sets out our vision for a sustainable and just world, and our goals and areas of focus for the coming years. It also reaffirms the centrality of the aid programme to our foreign policy. The new policy states clearly our commitment to achieving the UN target of providing 0.7% of Gross National Product (GNP) for Official Development Assistance (ODA) when economic circumstances permit.

Over the past two years, the Government has broadly stabilised the budget for development assistance - a significant achievement in the context of the very difficult conditions facing the country. For 2012 Ireland provided almost €629 million in ODA, representing 0.47% of GNP. For 2013 the Government has allocated a total of €622 million in ODA. These very significant allocations of public funds are evidence of a consolidation of the development assistance budget and represent a genuine investment on behalf of the Irish people in assisting those less fortunate than ourselves.

The Estimates process for Budget 2014 is now well under way. The Budget will be framed in the context of the Government’s overall fiscal consolidation strategy. Departmental budget allocations for 2014 will be a matter for Government decision and will be announced in the Budget Statement.