Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Niall Collins TD has welcomed the increase announced in Budget 2019 for Overseas Development Aid but has said that the Government must set out a roadmap if Ireland is to deliver on its commitment to reach the 0.7% ODA/GNI target.

Commenting Collins said: “The increase announced in the Budget is of course welcome and it is anticipated this level of allocation will deliver an ODA/GNI target of approximately 0.31%. However, this is significantly below the 0.59% which was reached in 2008 when Fianna Fáil was in Government.

“The Government are currently in the process of undertaking a consultation on our international development policy. Fianna Fáil believes that if the Government are serious about meeting the ODA/GNI target then a roadmap setting out how this target will be achieved must be at the heart of this new policy.

“As part of this roadmap to 0.7%, we need to consider enshrining that commitment in primary legislation. Other EU member states have delivered this over the past five years, and it has given certainty to International NGOs and our partners in Africa and Asia which enables them to plan for the future.

“Ireland has, by and large, an excellent reputation in relation to overseas development aid. However, repeated failures to reach our international commitment have dented our reputation and our global standing.

“The Government must therefore put in place a plan to ensure that this target is not just an aspiration or a utopian ideal. The poorest nations in the world are depending on us to deliver,” concluded Collins.