Minister Kitt outlines new dedicated Missionary Development Fund
Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Tom Kitt TD has announced the establishment of a new Missionary Development Fund which will facilitate missionaries of all denominations in their development activities in the Third World. The establishment of the new Fund means that missionaries will have for the first time a dedicated budget designed to help them carry out development projects at community level.
Addressing a group of missionaries in Dublin, the Minister stated:
“The contribution you have made and continue to make to development is fully recognised by the Government. Indeed the roots of the Government's programme of Overseas Development Assistance lie in your remarkable work.
I am committed to increasing the resources available to assist missionary organisations in all aspects of your development work. and also to help with the difficult challenges which we all face the developing world. I want to provide you with extra resources which I know will achieve real progress on the ground”.
The new Fund will be administered by APSO (Agency for Personal Service Overseas) which has established a close working relationship with missionaries over many years. APSO currently administers the personnel co-financing scheme for missionaries. The new Fund will enable both project and personnel funding to be brought together, thus facilitating greater coordination and coherence in all aspects of missionary development work.
In total it is estimated that missionaries will receive approximately €10 million for development work from APSO in 2003. This is the highest amount ever provided for development activities to missionary groups.
APSO is in the process of being integrated into Ireland Aid, the Government's official development programme administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs.