Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (50)

Niall Collins

Question:

50. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the progress that has been made in developing a roadmap to achieve Ireland's ODA/GNI target by 2030; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37464/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I refer to my response to Parliamentary Question 62 of 18 June 2019, which sets out a possible path to reaching the 0.7% target by 2030.

Ireland’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) is an essential element of our overall foreign policy and national presence overseas, enabling Ireland to respond to complex human needs and humanitarian crises around the world. Peer reviews by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have consistently stated that Ireland’s development cooperation programme is of the highest quality.

Along with a group of like-minded countries, including other EU partners, the Government remains committed to making incremental, sustainable progress towards achieving the UN target of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2030. The Programme for Government states that “we will continue to make progress towards achieving the UN target of 0.7% of gross national product for ODA, as economic conditions allow and resources permit”.

The Government reaffirmed its commitment to delivering 0.7% of GNI to ODA by 2030 in its Global Ireland Strategy. Ireland's new policy for international development, A Better World, was launched earlier this year and provides the framework for that expansion. In order to achieve this ambition difficult choices will be required between competing priorities, especially if economic circumstances change, and this will require ongoing careful planning and consultation with other Government Departments and stakeholders if a steady, phased and prudent approach is to be achieved.

Based on current projections for economic growth, which may change as circumstances evolve, achieving the 0.7% target by 2030 would mean more than tripling the current allocations to ODA, and require sustained, substantial managed increments given that the point of departure is 0.3% of GNI this year.

The Government is already making progress, having increased allocations to official development assistance by 32% since 2014. Budget 2019 saw the highest increase in funding available in over a decade, with Irish official development assistance in 2019 forecast to reach almost €817 million, an increase of approximately €110 million and a 16% increase on the allocation announced in budget 2018.

Further sustained, managed increments will be required to deliver on the 0.7% commitment by 2030, taking into consideration the range of demands across Government and the capacity of the public finances to meet them.

I can send the Deputy in writing a table which sets out indicative allocations to ODA, based on current economic growth forecasts, which show a possible phased path to reaching the 0.7% target by 2030. Allocations will of course be made annually as part of the normal budgetary process.

Year

ODA level € Million

Expected ODA/GNI % Target

2019

817

0.30%

2023

1400

0.50%

2025

1800

0.57%

2027

2100

0.62%

2030

2500

0.70%