Liz O'Donnell Welcomes Public Support For Increase In Overseas Aid
Liz O'Donnell T.D., Minister of State for Overseas Development and Human Rights, welcomed the launch today of the DEFY-IMS survey on Irish attitudes to development issues, supported by Ireland Aid.
"I welcome but was not surprised by the survey findings which showed a clear majority in all age-groups in favour of increasing the aid budget to developing countries. There is a long tradition among Irish people of concern for the poor throughout the developing world and this survey reflects this concern across the generations. The Government is committed to reaching the UN target of 0.7% of GNP for overseas aid and to moving as quickly as possible towards an interim target of 0.45%."
Minister O'Donnell continued, "The total annual budget for ODA stood at £124m in 1997, when I took up office. This increased to an estimated £178m for last year and will increase even further this year. From last year we have had a multi-annual Budget of £405m in the three years, 1999, 2000, and 2001, so there has been a real growth in quantity and quality in the Ireland Aid programme and I intend to ensure that this upward trend continues."
The Minister also welcomed the finding that a majority in all age groups correctly identified Sub-Saharan Africa as the region of the world where Ireland Aid, the Government's Overseas Development programme, concentrates most of its aid.
"For that reason, we will continue to increase awareness and public ownership of the Ireland Aid programme. Strong and informed public support for overseas development assistance is vital to sustain political support for a growing Aid Budget", the Minister concluded.Top