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Overseas Development

While Ireland faces a number of challenges, including deficits in our public services and infrastructure, unacceptable rates of poverty, and high national debt, it is important to remember that many people in the world face a far worse situation.  It is important that Ireland plays an active and effective part in promoting sustainable development in the Global South and that all of Ireland’s policies are consistent with such development.  Read Social Justice Ireland's Election Briefing on Global South and ODA for an outline of a number of key challenges and some policy proposals that should be in the next Programme for Government.

While welcoming the small increase in Overseas Development Assistance in Budget 2020, Social Justice Ireland is disappointed that this will not result in any significant improvement in Ireland’s ODA in terms of national income. We call on government to develop and publish a roadmap to reach the UN-agreed target.

Policy Coherence means making sure that the goals of one policy, or set of policies, does not conflict with another. Here are some areas where Ireland performs particularly badly in this regard.

While Ireland faces a number of challenges, it is important to remember that many people in the world face a far worse situation. Budget 2020 should be seen as an opportunity to build on the progress made last year in moving towards the UN-agreed target for overseas aid.

Climate change will have the greatest impact on those living in poverty, who have the least capacity to protect themselves.  Yet they are responsible for just a fraction of global emissions.

Recent moves on Ireland's ODA allocation have been positive, but a strategy to bring us to the UN-agreed target of 0.7 per cent of national income is still missing.

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the publication of ‘A Better World: Ireland’s Policy for International Development’, which outlines the Government’s commitment to reaching the UN target of allocating 0.7% of our GNI to official development assistance by 2030.  The reiteration of the commitment to Ireland’s ODA target is welcome, and Government is to be commended for setting a date by which it will meet this target.   

A full analysis of the policy challenges regarding the Global South and our proposed policy response is contained in Social Justice Matters: 2019 guide to a Fairer Irish Society.  The chapter is available below.

In order to improve the wellbeing of everyone in society, at all stages of the life cycle, it is vital that our policies address the causes of problems rather than their symptoms only.  It is through this lens that Social Justice Ireland examines the ten policy areas in the National Social Monitor. 

Budget 2019's ODA allocation of €817m (0.39 per cent of GNI*) is a significant increase on last year's amount (which was 0.36 per cent of GNI*), and the government is to be congratulated on this move. It is now time for a strategy that will bring us to the UN-agreed target of 0.7 per cent of national income by 2025.

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