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Minister Sherlock highlights strength of NGO sector

Budget/funding, News/feature, Ireland, 2014

Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, today met representatives of Ireland’s leading overseas development agencies to discuss shared priorities in our work to tackle global hunger and poverty.

Minister Sherlock met representatives from Concern, Trócaire, Goal, Gorta-Self Help Africa, Oxfam, and Dóchas, to discuss Ireland’s policy for overseas development, ‘One World, One Future’, and the critical negotiations on the new framework which will succeed the Millennium Development Goals once they expire in 2015.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Sherlock said:

‘These organisations are among Irish Aid’s key partners, so I was pleased to discuss our shared priorities and the challenges we face in the years ahead as we work together to build on our successful programmes to tackle poverty, inequality and hunger in some of the world’s poorest countries. I look forward to engaging with the wider NGO community in the period ahead.

‘NGOs play a critical role in ensuring accountability, good governance and upholding human rights, and they have unique access to the most vulnerable groups in society. I am proud that the Irish public’s long-standing support for Irish NGOs has endured throughout the recession. This support recognises both the vital work of our NGO partners and the need for continued support to help the world’s most vulnerable people improve their lives.’

Minister Sherlock also underlined the Government’s firm commitment to overseas development:

‘Despite the very difficult economic circumstances we have faced, we have succeeded in stabilising the development budget in recent years. This has been a significant achievement, as it demonstrates continued public solidarity with families and communities suffering the effects of poverty and inequality. It also reflects the positive work of Irish Aid and of the NGO community in delivering improvements in the lives of these communities.

‘As Minister, my aim will be to ensure that we build on the significant international reputation of our overseas aid programme, so we continue to deliver real change in the fight against global poverty and hunger.’

Press Office
17 September 2014

Notes to the editor:

• Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

• Ireland’s total overseas development assistance in 2013 was €637 million.

• Around €165 million, or 26% of Ireland’s overseas development budget, was delivered through non-governmental organisations in 2013.