Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
54. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views that the publication of the Irish Aid annual report confirms that Ireland’s overseas aid programme is of world class quality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27320/11]
Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): Each year my Department publishes a report on the activities supported by Irish Aid, the Government’s development aid programme. The focus of the 2010 Irish Aid Annual Report, which I launched two weeks ago, is on demonstrating the impact of Irish Aid funding on the lives of communities where we are working. The theme of the report is that development assistance works. At a time when international aid budgets are under pressure, and every item of public expenditure is under scrutiny, it is vital that we can demonstrate the difference Irish Aid funding is making in the lives of communities in some of the poorest countries in the world. In June, I visited Ireland’s aid programmes in Malawi and Mozambique, and saw for myself how they are making a practical contribution to the fight against poverty and hunger.
Ireland’s aid programme has a strong international reputation for its quality. It is recognised for its sharp focus on reducing poverty and hunger in some of the poorest countries, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa.
The OECD has described our aid programme as cutting edge, and a champion in making aid more effective. Just last week another report, the 2010 Evaluation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, ranked Ireland highest among EU Union Member States for the delivery of our commitments on aid quality. These reports confirm that the high standards of Ireland’s aid programme are being maintained.
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