Irish Aid steps up its Commitment to the Environment
Irish Aid is strengthening its commitment to the environment in the next year.
The Minister of State, Conor Lenihan T.D., made this announcement at a joint ministerial of environment and development ministers hosted by the OECD today in Paris.
“The environment has been neglected by many donors to date, despite the role of natural resources in helping people to climb out of poverty”, said Minister Lenihan, who is responsible for Irish Aid.
The Government White Paper on Development Cooperation to be published in July will put a greater emphasis on environmentally sustainable development and the reduction of environmental risk.
“At any one time, over half the world's hospital beds are occupied by people with water-related diseases, such as malaria, dysentery and cholera”, the Minister added. .
“More frequent and severe drought, cyclones and floods, due to climate change, threaten to undermine the huge amounts of money we invest in overseas aid', said Minister Lenihan.
The Minister of State will launch an Irish Aid Environment Policy for Sustainable Development in the autumn. This will be accompanied by a 3-year action plan and increased investment in the environment.
The action plan will build on positive experience in the Irish Aid programme. For example, the Productive Safety Nets Programme in Ethiopia addresses the needs of the most chronically food insecure – families that go hungry for several months each year.
The programme, which Irish Aid supported to the tune of over €6.1 million in 2005, marries the twin objectives of environment protection and livelihood security. In addition to providing cash transfers to the poorest households, the programme carries out soil and water conservation activities which will ensure agricultural production and food production in the future.
4th April 2006