International aid agency GOAL today welcomed the Budget commitment to increase Ireland’s investment in Overseas Development Aid (ODA) for 2021. The budget allocation to ODA has been increased significantly by almost €30 million.
GOAL Deputy CEO, Mary Van Lieshout, said: “The triple threats of COVID-19, climate change and conflicts are creating unprecedented levels of humanitarian need around the world, and it is more important than ever that Ireland shows solidarity with vulnerable communities. International cooperation has never been so desperately needed.”
Ms Van Lieshout said that given the financial uncertainty due to COVID-19, it is commendable that the Government has increased ODA, which supports quality humanitarian and development programmes in GOAL’s countries of operation.
“Ireland has a rich history in overseas aid and as a nation has never been found wanting when it comes to helping those most in need. Our recent election to the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term from January 1st 2021 is another testimony to our global influence and is a great opportunity to grow our global contribution even further at such an important time.”
She said: “ODA is a vital lifeline for the most vulnerable communities and enables people to meet their basic needs and move out of poverty. The call for the world to ‘Leave No-One Behind’ is more relevant than ever and a clear reminder that people should be put at the heart of social and economic development.”
Ms Van Lieshout concluded that GOAL is experiencing a surge of need in all 13 of its countries of operation. “There are now real concerns that the effects of the current pandemic will reverse the development gains the global community has been working towards in the effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We cannot let this happen and this increase in ODA will ensure Ireland continues to play its part.”