Overseas aid spending plans welcomed by Gorta-Self Help Africa

Self Help AfricaNews

NO REPRO FEE 29/8/2017 Dóchas – the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations – who represent 60 organisations working in international development in Ireland – have called on the Irish Government to reverse the downward trend on overseas aid spending and get back on track towards achieving the UN target of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI*) on overseas development assistance (ODA). Pictured at the launch of the pre-budget submission today in the Iveagh Gardens are, from left, John Fitzsimons, CEO Camara Education and Dóchas Vice-Chair, Katie Hennessy, youth activist, Suzanne Keatinge, CEO Dóchas, and Former Minister, TD and current Chair of Gorta-Self Help Africa, Tom Kitt. PHOTO: Mark Stedman

Government plans to increase overseas aid spending in the upcoming budget have been welcomed by Gorta-Self Help Africa.

Tom Kitt, the chair of Gorta-Self Help Africa and a former Minister for Overseas Aid, said that the pledge by Fine Gael to increase Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) would ensure that Ireland continued to play a central role in the global bid to end hunger and extreme poverty in the world.

“Ireland, along with other world leaders, made a commitment in 2000 to spend 0.7% of national income to overseas aid. We are also signatories to the UN Global Goals pledge to end extreme poverty by 2030.

“Although the tough economic times of the past decade set us back to the extent that today we are investing just 0.33% of income on foreign aid, the decision by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to reaffirm our commitment to increase Overseas Development Aid represents a vote in favour of the world’s poorest people,” Mr. Kitt said.

“Increased spending on overseas aid will enable organisations like Gorta-Self Help Africa to reach more poor people in sub-Saharan Africa, which remains the most impoverished region in the world, with hundreds of millions of people continuing to live in extreme poverty,” Mr Kitt said.

Ireland has an incredible record when it comes to supporting the fight to end poverty and suffering around the globe. This announcement will help us to continue that fight on behalf of the poor and the disadvantaged of the world,” he concluded.

Pictured from left: John Fitzsimons, CEO Camara Education and Dóchas Vice-Chair, Katie Hennessy, youth activist, Suzanne Keatinge, CEO Dóchas, and Former Minister, TD and current Chair of Gorta-Self Help Africa, Tom Kitt.

Photo: Mark Stedman