Country Idealist Profiles

Ireland – International Development Cooperation: An Overview

Posted in Ireland, Ireland - International Development Cooperation by hynesbrid on August 21, 2008

Responsibility for Irish foreign policy, including assistance to developing countries (Irish Aid) lies in the first instance with the Minister for Foreign Affairs.  However, particular responsibility for policy on Overseas Development Assistance is assigned to the Minister of State for Overseas Development at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr Peter Power, T.D. 

The Development Cooperation Directorate, a Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs, is responsible for administering the Irish Aid programme. It also has a coordinating role in relation to Overseas Development Assistance by other Government Departments.

http://foreignaffairs.gov.ie/home/index.aspx?id=368

Irish Aid is the Government of Ireland’s programme of assistance to developing countries.

Ireland has had an official development assistance programme since 1974. It has grown steadily over the years from modest beginnings to its current size – total ODA in 2007 was €813 million.   In 2008 Ireland’s official development assistance (ODA) is €914 million (0.54% of GNP)

These increases are set to continue. The Government is committed to reaching the UN target of spending 0.7% of GNP on official development assistance in 2012.  As interim targets, today they have reached 0.5% in 2007 and will reach 0.6% in 2010. Assuming current levels of GNP growth, spending on development in that year will be of the order of €1.4 billion, making Ireland one of the most generous donor countries in the world. 

Irish Aid’s programme has always been completely untied, that is to say, it is not conditional in any way on the use of Irish goods or services.  It is Government policy that Irish Aid’s funding should remain untied, as it takes the view that tied aid is less effective in its impact, leads to a proliferation of different standards and technologies in developing countries and can be abused to provide hidden export subsidies.  

In September 2006 the Government published Ireland’s first ever White Paper on development cooperation. This sets out current policy and the future direction of the aid programme.
http://www.irishaid.gov.ie/whitepaper/

Ireland’s development cooperation policy is an integral part of Ireland’s wider foreign policy.  Its aid philosophy is rooted in its foreign policy, in particular its objectives of peace and justice. The country´s development cooperation policy and programme reflect its longstanding commitment to human rights and fairness in international relations and are inseparable from Irish foreign policy as a whole.

Irish Aid has a dedicated website which is a comprehensive guide to Ireland’s overseas assistance programme.
http://www.irishaid.gov.ie/

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