Poorer states depend on us
Madam – I am responding to the piece in your paper last week (Sunday Independent, December 16, 2012) by John Drennan, 'We must slash foreign aid by 75 per cent, says Fianna Fail senator', which reported remarks of Senator Brian O Domhnaill that Ireland cannot afford to support the poor in developing countries, and should reduce its international development budget by 75 per cent.
Ireland gives less than half of one per cent of national income to international development, and a large proportion of that is to the international institutions such as the UN, IMF and World Bank. These are the same institutions which have provided the funds to bail us out of our current difficulties.
There is no social welfare system in very poor countries. There is no safety net for people who find themselves in adverse circumstance, unlike in Ireland, where everyone can rely on a basic standard of living.