Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Darragh O’Brien TD has said that Overseas Development Aid (ODA) must not be forgotten in Budget 2017.
Commenting on the issue Deputy O’Brien said, ”While I recognise that there are a lot of competing demands with regards to the forthcoming Budget, it is imperative that ODA is not forgotten about.
“In 2000 Ireland committed to the UN target of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA. However, we have fallen considerably short in this regard and the date by which this target is to be reached has been extended on a number of occasions.
“The previous Government made a commitment to reach the 0.7% of GNP target for Overseas Development Aid by 2015 in their 2011 Programme for Government. This target was not achieved and now we have a new target year of 2030, which is fourteen years away.
“At present we are only at 0.36% and this is considerably below the 0.59% reached when Fianna Fáil was in Government. This target should not be considered a lofty aspiration; it should be considered an integral and achievable foreign policy objective.
“Ireland has an excellent reputation in relation to aid and development. However, our reputation will be at stake if we continue to renege on the UN target. The upcoming Budget is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to assisting some of the world’s most vulnerable people and regions. I hope that this commitment will be evident in Budget 2017.”