State must increase overseas aid spending by €128 million, says NGO group

The Government must increase overseas aid spending by €128 million this year to keep on track with its financial targets and continue providing support to the world’s poorest people, the association for Irish NGOs has said.

The Irish State is falling behind on its UN commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of the nation’s Gross National Income (GNI) on overseas development aid despite economic recovery in recent years, according to the pre-Budget submission from Dóchas, the network of Irish overseas development NGOs.

The group said on Tuesday that despite the Government’s attempts to maintain development aid spending during the economic downturn, Ireland has begun falling behind on its aid commitments.

The State’s development aid spending peaked in 2008 when it allocated €920.66 million (0.59 per cent of GNI) to overseas support.

Last year the State spent €723.7 million on overseas aid, significantly more than its original 2016 commitment of €641 million, which increased after additional allocations to the EU development cooperation fund.

However, Dóchas, which represents 60 NGOs working in international development in Ireland, says the Government must further increase its aid budget by €128 million in October to ensure it remains on track…

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