Written Answers -

Wednesday, 5 October 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 606 No. 80

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  241.  Mr. O’Connor  Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   if he will report on his Department’s aid programme in South Africa. [27135/05]

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Mr. C. Lenihan): Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  South Africa is an important recipient of Ireland’s overseas development assistance, ODA. South Africa is placed 120th on the UN human development index, HDI, out of a total of 177 countries [1885]ranked. Ireland’s programme is aimed at assisting the Government and people of South Africa to reduce poverty and exclusion and build the nation in the aftermath of the legacy of apartheid. Our development assistance is increasingly delivered at provincial, district and local municipal level. It is estimated that Ireland will provide over €10 million in assistance to South Africa in 2005. Additional funding is also delivered through non-governmental organisations, NGOs, and missionaries.

A feature of the South Africa country programme is that almost half of the assistance is expended supporting the work of civil society across a number of sectors. These include HIV-AIDS and governance. In addition, we are increasing our support to Limpopo province, one of the poorest in South Africa. Ireland is helping in meeting the water, sanitation and education needs in that province.

I have arranged to send the Deputy a copy of the annual report for 2004, which details the work of Development Co-operation Ireland in South Africa that year and a copy of the South Africa country strategy.

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