Burton - OECD Report that Ireland's Overseas Aid Grows Fastest
Burton - OECD Report that Ireland's Overseas Aid
Minister of State Joan Burton TD today welcomed the acknowledgement by the OECD Development Assistance Committee* that the successive increases since 1993 by Ireland of overseas development assistance now put Ireland in the top league of European Union countries.
The Minister said that, while the OECD report highlighted the fact that Ireland was the only European Union country significantly increasing its aid budget, the report also stressed the fact that the emphasis in the Irish programme was as much on quality as on quantity. The statement by DAC noted "that the small Irish bilateral programme has generally been of high quality with a grassroots and participatory character".
The report highlighted the fact that all of the richest countries in the world, those who are members of the G7 club, including the United States and Great Britain, have cut their development spending. The Minister said that the challenge was now going to be how to get the richest countries to devote serious resources to the poorest in the world, particularly in Africa. The targets which have been set for the year 2015 - reducing the number of children who die before five by two-thirds and the number of women who die in childbirth by three-quarters - were in reality exceptionally modest targets.
The evolving foreign policy of the European Union had to put development assistance, debt relief and trade access to the forefront of its policies towards Africa, if further tragedies such as Somalia and Rwanda were to be averted.
* The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) report, 1996Top