Missionaries welcome new partnership with Government
Minister of State for Development Cooperation, Tom Kitt, and the Chairperson of the Irish Missionary Resource Service (IMRS), Sister Noelle Corscadden, at a ceremony in the Department of Foreign Affairs this evening, Thursday, 1 July, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding which heralds a new era in the Government’s support for the development work of Irish Missionaries abroad.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Government, through the Development Cooperation Ireland (DCI) programme, will establish a partnership with the IMRS to channel significant development funds towards missionaries in the developing world.
€5.65 m will be allocated for the development activities of missionaries through the IMRS between now and the end of 2004 under the terms of the new arrangement. In total in 2004, more than €11m is earmarked for support for missionary development work.
Minister Kitt described the conclusion of the agreement as representing a maturing of the relationship between the Government programme and the missionary movement and said that he was confident the new arrangement would facilitate more programmatic interventions by missionaries working in development.
‘This arrangement,’ the Minister said, ‘further underlines the Government’s continuing appreciation and respect for the very valuable work being done by Missionaries in the fight for education, equality and human rights and in the fight against poverty, exclusion and diseases such as HIV/AIDS. It re-emphasises our commitment to strengthening our support for that work. Today represents the culmination of a process we have been engaged on with our missionary colleagues over more than two years, aimed at implementing the recommendations of the Ireland Aid Review towards achieving a more strategic partnership with missionaries in development.’
Sr. Corscadden welcomed what she described as a very positive development in terms of recognition of the role of missionaries in the development process. ‘These new arrangements’, she said, ‘will greatly enhance the effectiveness of the aid which is channelled to the world’s poorest and most excluded through the work of missionaries by introducing increased flexibility into the funding process. They also provide a framework for a focussed dialogue between the Government’s development cooperation programme and the missionary movement on shared challenges and opportunities.’
The first phase of the new arrangements covers the period from 1 July to 31 December 2004. It is envisaged that a more comprehensive multi-annual framework agreement will be agreed before this period ends. Top