The Government has increased annual spending on overseas development aid (ODA) to more than €1 billion for the first time.
The additional €140 million allocated for ODA in Budget 2022, which will go towards projects in developing countries in particular, was broadly welcomed by the charity sector.
Dochás – an umbrella group representing 57 development organisations – said the Government had shown “solidarity to the most marginalised people across the world in the face of Covid, conflict and climate crises”.
Announcing the increase in the annual ODA budget in the Dáil, Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said it was an important step towards the delivery of the programme for Government commitment to double Irish aid investment in climate-action measures by 2030.
Minister of State for ODA Colm Brophy said the increase was the second highest ever announced and an “important statement of Irish global solidarity at a time when many millions around the world are trying to cope with the challenges of the pandemic, increasing hunger and climate change”.
Concern Worldwide said Ireland's overseas development assistance programme has been consistently ranked among the highest quality in the world.
“The increase comes at a very challenging time with 41 million people in 43 countries currently at risk of dying from hunger,” said its chief executive Dominic MacSorley.