€30 million increase to €868 million in 2021 will help protect Ireland from global threats and contribute to climate action
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D. and Minister of State for Overseas Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., today welcomed the allocation of €868 million to overseas aid in the 2021 budget. This is an increase of €30 million on the allocation in Budget 2020, enabling the allocation to overseas aid to increase for the seventh year in a row.
‘Today’s increase of €30 million in the overall allocation for Official Development Aid is an investment in a better world, in line with our values and our international commitments. It is a demonstration, as we prepare for our seat at the UN Security Council, that Ireland is working for a planet that is peaceful, sustainable, and equitable.
This increase will assist Ireland make our full contribution to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has revealed just how much our wellbeing in Ireland is connected to that of others. Helping those without our advantages cope with the fallout of the virus, including through improving health, food security and education system, and access a vaccine, will help safeguard our own health and prosperity. Helping them is not just the right thing to do, it is the sensible thing to do.’
Minister Brophy added:
‘Ireland’s world class international development cooperation programme, Irish Aid, enables us to deliver on our commitment to respond to those most in need. The increase in the allocation for overseas development aid funding next year announced today underlines the priority which I – and the Government – attach to meeting our aid targets. It will enable us to continue to support global health responses to the virus.
Importantly, as Irish Aid establishes a dedicated climate unit, this increase will also enable us to make progress on the other challenge of our generation, climate change. Already people are going hungry, are falling into conflict, are forced to leave their homes, because of climate change. Some small island states are facing existential threats. As we move to do more at home, Irish Aid will do more abroad, because climate change affects us all. The additional funding will also help us build on the excellent work of Irish Aid meeting the needs of those furthest behind – Irish Aid is regularly found to be the best at reaching those most in need.’
1 – The allocation to overseas aid in 2021 is estimated to bring Irish Official Development Assistance (ODA) as a percentage of Gross National Income (GNI) to 0.32%, compared to an estimated allocation of 0.31% GNI this year.
2 – For 2021, the Government has allocated €868 million for Official Development Assistance, an increase of almost €30 million on the 2020 allocation. €571 million will be managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs, with the remaining accounted for through Ireland’s share of the EU development cooperation instruments, and ODA eligible contributions from other Government Departments.
3 – Irish Aid, Ireland’s Official Development Assistance programme, is regularly appraised and found to be among the best in the world. The OECD DAC (Development Assistance Committee) peer review published in May 2020 is available to read here and found Irish Aid to ‘walk the talk’. In 2019, ODI, a development think tank, found Irish Aid to be the most effective donor at targeting the poorest – see here.
4 – Ireland’s international development policy, A Better World, is available here.