Irish Aid publishes Annual Report
Total Overseas Aid in 2006 was €814 million
Breakthrough year for support to tackle HIV/AIDS
Michael Kitt TD, Minister of State for Overseas Development, today launched the Irish Aid Annual Report for 2006. The report shows that Ireland spent a total of €814 million, or over 0.5% of GNP, last year on overseas development aid. Projects in over 90 countries were supported, with the focus remaining on eight programme countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Over €140 million was provided to NGOs and missionaries to support their initiatives to reduce poverty.
This commitment places Ireland firmly on course to reach the UN target of spending 0.7% of GNP on overseas aid by 2012. The commitment also places Ireland among the most generous donors in the world. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development recently ranked Ireland as the sixth most generous per capita aid donor.
The central theme of the 2006 Annual Report is Irish Aid’s commitment to tackling HIV/AIDS. Last year the aid programme achieved its target of spending €100 million on HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases. Ireland now allocates a greater proportion of its overseas development aid to tackling HIV/AIDS than any other EU country. Launching the report, Minister of State Kitt said,
“The struggle against HIV and AIDS is central to the fight against global poverty. The disease has a terrible impact on the individual, families and communities. In developing countries it devastates local economies and already weak health and education systems. Irish Aid is providing much needed support to many of the worst affected countries for treatment and prevention.”
The report also sets out Ireland’s response to natural disasters and complex emergencies. Irish Aid provided over €100 million in assistance to 40 countries to meet basic humanitarian and recovery needs following such events in 2006. This represented an increase of 47% on humanitarian relief funding in 2005.
Note to editors:
Increased support for the fight against HIV/AIDS stems from the commitment made by the Taoiseach at the United Nations in September 2005 to considerably increase resources to help tackle HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases at a global level. Irish Aid’s response to HIV/AIDS includes operations at programme country level (many of Irish Aid’s programme countries are among the worst affected by the pandemic), through NGOs, the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation and the Clinton Foundation.
The report also examines Irish Aid’s programmes of bilateral support in its eight programme countries and cooperation with the UN, EU and other international organisations in tackling international poverty.
The full report is available at www.irishaid.gov.ie
 Irish Aid programme countries are Lesotho, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Vietnam and East TimorTop