I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 and 64 together.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is a long standing supporter of UNFPA. We provide non-earmarked core funding to the agency on an annual basis and intend to continue this in 2019.
In 2018, my Department provided €3,500,000 to UNFPA, an increase of €700,000 on our 2017 core contribution. As the Tánaiste outlined in his speech at the launch of the UNFPA’s State of the World Population Report in October, Ireland is proud to be a consistent supporter of UNFPA. Since 2006 we have provided funding of around €55 million to the Population Fund, the majority of which is core funding. Ireland values the critical work of UNFPA and is committed to core funding on the principle that this allows the agency to set their priorities and plan according to need which is, we believe, critical to the on-the-ground delivery of results.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is not currently providing funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Supplies Thematic Programme and no decision to fund this specific programme in 2019 has been taken to date.
The Government is committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030. My Department is working to ensure that our international development assistance supports the achievement of the SDGs in developing countries. Ireland’s international development programme has always been focused on the need to protect the most vulnerable in society, and through for example our core support to UNFPA, contribute to the SDGs’ transformative ambition of ‘Leave No One Behind’ and in particular to reach the furthest behind first. Reaching them and delivering responsive supports and services is essential for creating inclusive societies and achieving sustainable development.