Sunday 16 June 2019

Spending on overseas aid to rise as the economy grows

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Ireland is to significantly increase spending on overseas aid as the economy recovers, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

A review of our international development aid commitments is due to be well underway by the middle of next year.

Mr Varadkar said cuts made to Ireland's contributions towards overseas projects should be reversed.

The country has a target of 0.7pc of spending on Official Development Assistance (ODA) by 2025, but is currently at 0.3pc.

"Ireland has fallen back quite a lot, first because of the recession and secondly, more recently, because of a very fast growing economy," Mr Varadkar said. "We had been around 0.58pc at one stage, so the time has come I think for Ireland as a country to start increasing our spending on international development again, and that will be part of our plans for Ireland's contribution to the world, and also for our foreign policy, and we'd hope by the middle of the year to be able set out a schedule as to how that can be done in the years ahead," he added.

Budget 2018 set aside a total allocation of €707m for ODA.

Irish Independent

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