Wednesday, 24 May 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Mr. C. Lenihan): Ireland’s total aid to Ethiopia in 2006 is expected to amount to approximately €35 million. Of this total, it is anticipated that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in Ethiopia, including Concern, GOAL, Self Help Development International, Trócaire and others will receive financial support of approximately €7 million. The remainder will be delivered through the Irish Aid programme administered by the Embassy in Addis Ababa.
With a population now exceeding 70 million people, Ethiopia is Ireland’s largest Programme Country. It is also one of the poorest, with over 30 per cent of the population living on less than $1 a day and 76 per cent on less than $2 dollars a day. It is ranked 170th out of 177 on the UN Human Development Index (HDI). This index measures the well-being of the population across a wide range of indicators.
In 2006, the aid programme in Ethiopia will continue to focus on supporting basic service delivery to the rural poor especially in the areas of health, education, good governance, and HIV/AIDS. Another important component of Ireland’s programme in Ethiopia is our support to the UN monitored Social Safety Nets Fund, which provides some 7 million of the poorest Ethiopians with cash or food in exchange for labour. This innovative fund, which was established with assistance and expertise from Ireland, is perceived as an invaluable instrument in preventing up to 7 million people from facing starvation each year.
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