Overseas Aid Budget Increase Truly Historic - O'Donnell
“The huge increase in Ireland's overseas aid budget for 2001 is truly historic,”said Minister of State Liz O' Donnell T.D. commenting on today's budgetary commitment to put Overseas Development Aid on a definite path to meeting the UN target of 0.7% of GNP.
“I am delighted that Ireland's overseas development budget is on the way to meeting the UN target”, Minister of State, Liz O' Donnell said. “Hitting the target is no longer an aspiration - now we have concrete budgetary allocations which show Irish people's solidarity with those who live in grinding poverty. At last we have budgetary certainty to make a real difference in the lives of the poorest people in the world.”
“This year's overseas ODA as a percentage of GNP is 0.31%. With this increase of IR£52 million, it will rise to 0.35% in 2001. By 2002 we will be at 0.45% and that will meet the target set in the Programme for Government,” Minister O Donnell explained.
“ Reaching the UN target of 0.7% of GNP will mean quadrupling our aid over the next seven years from IR£208 million to IR£800million by 2007. Despite increases in ODA over the last few years, ODA had not kept up with our own GNP,” Minister of State Liz O Donnell said.
The Minister warned that “budgetary increases on their own will not alleviate poverty, eradicate diseases or create long term peace and stability. Identifying and dealing with root causes of global underdevelopment does. “
Pledging that this massive investment in ODA would be well spent, Minister O'Donnell said, "I will personally oversee a radical review of our aid policies and programme. They will be focused, fresh, visionary and responsive to both the needs of the poorest people in the world and the Irish taxpayer,” she said.Top