Official Development Assistance (ODA) is an essential element of Ireland's foreign policy. In line with the Government’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the new policy for international development, A Better World - published in February - Ireland's international development programme is focused on reaching the furthest behind first through delivery of four cross-cutting policy priorities, namely gender equality, reducing humanitarian need, climate action and strengthening governance.
The 2018 Irish Aid annual report, published last month, details the range of partners and channels involved in the delivery of Ireland’s aid programme. In 2018, €449.43 million was allocated through bilateral channels, including over €169 million channelled through NGOs. €342.2 million was disbursed through the EU and the wider multilateral system, where core missions and objectives closely aligned with Ireland’s policy priorities.
Ireland's international development programme is well recognised for its committment to reducing poverty and vulnerability, for its focus on least development countries and small island development states, and for reaching those furthest behind first. Peer reviews by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have consistently found that Ireland’s development cooperation programme is of the highest quality. Earlier this year Ireland was again adjudicated the world’s most efficient donor in targeting extreme poverty by an independent international research body, the Overseas Development Institute.