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2015 recommendation unacceptable

The McCarthy Report (also known as “An Bord Snip Nua” report) today recommended that the Irish government push to 2015 its commitment to give 0.7% of its GNP to overseas aid. The original commitment was 2012.

We can’t wait

“This is about lives.The one thing that a billion people trying to survive hunger, malnutrition, disease and poverty do not have is time. They can’t wait until 2015. We fully support the Minister in his efforts to ensure that we meet our commitment to the poorest of the world’s poor by 2012,” according to Concern’s new Head of Advocacy, Derek McDowell.

A dire situation

“This is not about my opinion or Concern’s opinion. This is about lives,” Derek continued.

Last year, rising food prices forced another 40 million people into chronic poverty. This means that one billion people in the developing world are now hungry and at risk of malnutrition. These highly vulnerable people did not create the current financial and economic crisis but are now being made to bear the brunt of it.

Committing to help

The Irish government made a solemn commitment at the UN to give 0.7% of GNP to overseas aid by 2012 – just 70 cent in every €100. They have cut overseas aid four times in the past twelve months,  yet as recently as Tuesday of this week Minister Peter Power reaffirmed that 2012 commitment.

Unacceptable cuts

The government also told the Secretary General of the UN just last week they would stick to their word. The McCarthy Report’s recommendation of pushing back that target date to 2015 – on top of the four cuts to overseas aid in the past year alone – would be unacceptable if implemented.

“Remember, this is about life and death,” concluded Derek McDowell.