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Tánaiste Welcomes Budget 2019 Allocations for Overseas Development Assistance



Overall Government ODA to increase by €109.8 million in Budget 2019 compared to Budget 2018 – the biggest year-on-year increase since 2006


Estimated Total ODA for 2019 of €816.9 million


 The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney T.D. has today [9 October] welcomed Budget 2019’s significant increase in funding Ireland’s work to reduce global poverty and hunger and to better respond to ongoing humanitarian challenges.



Speaking as the details of Budget 2019 were announced, the Tánaiste said:


“I am pleased that this year the Government was able to significantly increase the funding available to overseas development assistance – the highest increase in ODA in over a decade. This is a credible first step towards meeting the Government commitment to dedicate 0.7% of GNI to ODA by 2030. And today’s announcement includes a €44.8 million increase in 2019 for Irish Aid, the international development programme managed by my Department.


Our investment in international development and in the collective response to humanitarian disasters is an important statement of who we are as a people.  


It is also clearly in our interest to contribute to global solutions for global problems. As a small state, as an island, and as an open economy, we are better off when countries work together.


Ireland does development well and we have a reputation for quality. Just last month, a well-respected think tank, ODI, issued a study which found that Ireland was the most effective donor at reaching those in extreme poverty. What we are doing works and has real impact.


There have been many reminders in recent years of the interconnectedness of our world.  The Ebola crisis, to which Ireland responded in a way which should make people proud, showed the importance of investing in health systems not just at home but abroad.  


We see other European countries struggle to respond to movements of people resulting from conflict and lack of economic opportunity.  At the same time, countries objectively much worse off than EU Member States are hosts to millions of refugees. The effects of climate change are affecting our neighbouring continents. Ireland, as a global island, has a responsibility to help with the collective response – and it is fundamentally in our interest to do so.


The UN’s 2030 agenda and the EU plan for Africa announced by President Juncker last month set out a path for how this response can be shaped.  A healthier, safer world in which millions more people can work in dignity close to home is in our interest.  That is why after last year’s Budget I announced that I would bring forward a new policy on international development.  Work on that is nearing completion, following the closing of public consultations last week. This policy, once launched, will guide us in our international development efforts over busy but exciting years ahead for Irish Aid.”


Commenting on today’s announcement, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon T.D. said:


“I am delighted that the Government has today committed to increasing Ireland’s ODA spend by €109.8 in 2019. This will ensure that Ireland remains on track to achieving our commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Irish Aid, the Government’s overseas development programme, is internationally recognised as one of the most effective aid programmes in the world and in 2017, we provided assistance to people in over 130 countries around the world. The Irish people can be proud of what we have achieved so far but there is more to do.


Ireland remains committed to leaving no one behind and in particular to reaching those furthest behind first. Our new international development policy will be crucial in guiding our work in 2019 and beyond.”



Press Office 

9th October 2018

Notes to Editor


Specific details of the Budget 2019 figures for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are as follows:


  1. The additional €44.8 million allocation towards Ireland’s international development policy managed by DFAT (Irish Aid) will support work on reducing global poverty and hunger in some of the world’s least developed countries, while helping to build resilience and sustainable and secure livelihoods for people who are furthest behind. In addition to helping Ireland deliver on its commitment to reach the UN target for development assistance of 0.7% of Gross National Income by 2030, it will also enable delivery in 2019 of the Government’s priorities for international development, to be outlined in the forthcoming White Paper on international development, and allow Ireland to honour its commitments under the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Particular priorities will include:


  • Ongoing delivery of high-quality international development cooperation and humanitarian programme activities;
  • A major focus on ensuring girls’ access to education in developing countries;
  • Making a significant contribution to reducing poverty and improving food and nutrition security, particularly in least developed countries;
  • Supporting our developing country government partners to develop stronger and more accountable systems and deliver quality services to those most in need;
  • Fostering inclusive economic growth and inclusive agriculture by harnessing Ireland’s knowledge, expertise and innovation; and
  • Providing effective and timely humanitarian assistance through key UN and NGO partners, to people most affected by crises and assisting in preventing conflict and addressing fragility. 

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