Thursday 29 June 2017

Overseas aid chopped by €35m for next year

OVERSEAS Development Aid (ODA) will be cut by €35m next year.

This will result in €668m being paid to various projects around the world across 2011.

A spokesman for the Department of Finance said that after the cut it will still represent 0.523pc of our GNP, an increase from the 0.52pc of GNP allocated this year.

But John O'Shea of GOAL warned the cuts must be made in the right place.

"Massive savings can be made without any discernible impact by immediately halting the appalling practice of government-to-government aid to corrupt and brutal regimes," he said.

"And by stopping the funding of meaningless quangos, needless conferences and symposiums, and projects unrelated to the reduction of poverty and hunger."

The GOAL CEO also appealed against targeting the Irish missionaries and implementing agencies.

"The Irish missionaries and the implementing agencies are the cutting edge of ODA. It is they who work on the frontline of our humanitarian effort, they who deliver every day for countless people in the developing world. Their funding must be protected, or numerous projects will have to be abandoned and lives may well be lost."

The Government previously gave a commitment to spending 0.7pc of national income on overseas aid by 2012.

However this was then revised to 2015 "at the latest".

Irish Independent

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