'Frontline' wrong to set needy here against world's poorest
AS THE TDs and senators of the Irish Section of the Association Of European Parliamentarians With Africa, we are concerned by the impression created by RTE's ‘Frontline’ television programme on Monday, May 30.
To have set up a choice between the needs of some of Ireland's most vulnerable children and those of the poorest people in the world was wrong. It was also clearly rejected by a majority of the programme's audience.
As an all-party group containing many first-time TDs, we are working on international efforts to ensure greater aid effectiveness and development effectiveness. We are also fully mindful of the Irish electorate's demand for political reform. Although the external reviews of Ireland's aid programme have been good, we will continue to monitor Ireland's aid programme using the full powers of the parliamentary committee system, and all other methods internationally. However, knee-jerk reactions to cut overseas aid and discredit its effectiveness will not solve our economic crisis. Ireland's aid budget represents just over half of one percentage point of GNI and, as has been pointed out, it has been cut more than any other sector.