Question to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mr. Charles Flanagan, TD)
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if consideration is provided to Government expenditure on military, and space exploration, technology, when allocating funding, provided through Irish Aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN ANSWER on Tuesday, 10 March 2015.
Irish Aid, the Government’s official aid programme, which is managed by my Department, works on behalf of the Irish people to address poverty and hunger in some of the poorest countries in the world. The Government’s policy on International Development, ‘One World, One Future’ published in 2013 clearly articulates our vision for a sustainable and just world and the priority areas of focus for the Irish Aid programme. The programme remains firmly focused on the reduction of poverty and hunger, on promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth in our partner countries in Africa, and on strengthening governance and accountability so that citizens can realise their rights.
We have ensured that all expenditure under the aid programme is in line with the guidelines developed by international donors at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on what can be classified as Official Development Assistance (ODA). These guidelines are essential in ensuring that aid is directed effectively at the eradication of poverty and hunger in the world. We do not provide support to areas such as military or space exploration under the aid programme. Such support would not fall under the objectives of the Irish Aid programme, and it would not be classified as ODA.
In taking decisions on the allocation of funding across the Irish Aid programme, we take account of a range of criteria, including the potential impact on poverty and hunger, alignment with our development policy priorities, assessment of risk and where Ireland can have most influence.
Ireland was commended last year in the peer review of our aid programme by the OECD Development Assistance Committee, which recognised that our “Official Development Assistance allocations provide an excellent reflection of Ireland’s policy priorities to fight hunger and poverty for vulnerable people, as well as its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals and the least developed countries.”