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Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan T.D.launches the Irish Aid Annual Report

Governance, News/feature, Ireland, 2011

The Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan, T.D., today launched the Irish Aid Annual Report 2010 at the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre in O’Connell Street, Dublin.

The theme of the report is that development aid works. It highlights the progress that has been made in tackling hunger and poverty in Irish Aid’s partner countries and shows that development aid is a powerful force for change in the lives of the world’s poorest people.

Speaking at today’s launch, Minister O’Sullivan said:

“The Irish Aid programme is recognised internationally for its rigorous focus on the poorest people in the world’s poorest countries. That focus is determined by the reality that, today, almost one billion people are suffering from chronic hunger, and over one billion people struggle to feed their families on less than €1.25 a day.  Our programme is working to reduce poverty; eradicate hunger; help children to survive their first year and go to school and ensure that families have food to eat and clean water to drink.

“As we can see from today’s report, real progress is being made in building health and education systems and in fostering positive change in the lives of the poorest people.” 

“In Malawi - a country which suffered severe food shortages less than a decade ago - Ireland’s support of a Government programme to provide 1.6 million farmers with subsidised fertiliser and seeds has seen the country go from a net importer to a net exporter of maize in just a few years. This has led to enormous improvements in the number of families who now have enough food to sustain them.”

“In Mozambique, our partnership with the Clinton Foundation and Government of Mozambique is transforming the lives of people living with HIV. In 2010, the number of people receiving treatment reached almost 220,000 compared to just 10,000 six years ago.”

However, the Minister said the current crisis in the Horn of Africa highlights the importance of investing in long-term development to ensure communities are prepared to withstand drought and other shocks.

“The Government responded swiftly and effectively to this crisis. Since the start of the year, we have provided more than €9 million in funding and vital humanitarian supplies to assist thousands of families at risk of starvation in the Horn of Africa.”

“At the same time, we maintained our long term development work to increase the capacity of poor communities to respond to climatic and other shocks.  This means working with developing countries to invest in health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, water and irrigation projects that reduce poverty and hunger and mitigate the impact of natural disasters.”

Minister O’Sullivan told those attending the launch that the Review of the White Paper on Irish Aid and Ireland’s participation in the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea, in November would build on Ireland’s reputation as a highly-effective donor and maximise the contribution Ireland can make to the fight to end global poverty and hunger.

 16th September 2011

  • Irish Aid the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 
  • In 2010, the Government provided €675 million in Official Development Assistance, which represented 0.53% of GNP.
  • Among the other results highlighted in the 2010 Annual Report are:
  • In Ethiopia, life expectancy at birth increased by five years between 2000 and 2010. Gross National Income per capita increased by 75%.
  • In Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, crop productivity has been improved by almost 70%.
  • In Mozambique, there are now almost 7 million children in school, compared to just 400,000 twenty years ago.
  • In Lesotho, 100 pre-school classrooms have been refurbished since 2008, increasing enrolment by 70% nationally.
  • In Tanzania, the rate of infant mortality has fallen by a quarter since 2005.
  • The HIV rate in Uganda is now 6.4% compared to 18% in the 1990s.
  • In 2011, Ireland’s aid budget is expected to reach €659 million, which will represent 0.52% of GNP.
  • For further information or to see a copy of the Irish Aid Annual Report 2010, please visit www.irishaid.ie

For further information or to arrange an interview with Minister O’Sullivan, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: 01-4082653/ 087-9099975