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Overseas Development Aid Expenditure

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 13 December 2017

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Questions (42)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

42. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if commitments will be made with regard to multi-annual funding for overseas development aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53143/17]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Government is strongly committed to Ireland’s overseas development cooperation programme and to its place at the heart of our foreign policy.

Predictable funding streams allow the effective planning of our assistance so that it can deliver maximum impact, and greatly assists the prudential management of the aid budget. Multi-annual funding arrangements are the most commonly used mechanism to facilitate predictability of funding and, importantly, to allow the delivery of strategic goals.

In 2017, over almost €74 million or 80% of Irish Aid’s civil society budget is governed multi-annual funding agreements. The Programme Grant, the largest civil society funding mechanism, runs from 2017 to 2021, and will provide approximately €53 million in funding per year to thirteen NGOs to deliver results. Only NGOs which reach a certain critical mass qualify for this mechanism: the next round of funding for other, smaller, NGO partners will increase the potential annual grant to assist these partners in achieving the scale required to qualify for Programme Grants.

While it is more challenging to provide multi-annual funding in the context of humanitarian emergencies, Ireland has committed to providing at least 20% of its humanitarian funding through multi-annual agreements.

Our bi-lateral programmes in Key Partner Countries are predominantly based on multi-annual strategies including indicative multi-annual funding commitments. We expect that this strong commitment to multi-annual funding will continue as Ireland progresses towards our 0.7% target by 2030.

It is the Government’s intention that a new White Paper on development cooperation would be published next year, most probably in the summer. One of the issues which will be considered in that context would be how to most effectively plan on a multi-annual basis, with a view to better achieving results.

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