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Irish Aid announces major increase in Concern funding

Conor Lenihan, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, announced yesterday a new five year funding programme with Concern. Under this programme, Irish Aid support for Concern will more than double, rising from a little over €60 million (for the period 2003 to 2006) to €148 million over the five year period from 2007 to 2011.

Minister Lenihan made the announcement at the National Final of the Concern School Debates in University College Dublin. Commenting on the funding package, Minister Lenihan said, "Irish NGOs are key partners for Irish Aid. We work closely with them in tackling poverty. Concern's work enjoys a well deserved strong reputation both domestically and internationally.

"Their programmes enable thousands of vulnerable and marginalised people throughout the world to take that important step on to the development ladder. This new round of Irish Aid funding will allow Concern and its partners to build on their existing long-term development programmes."

Working closely with Irish Aid

The Chief Executive of Concern, Tom Arnold, added, "The Irish Government's multi-annual support is of great assistance to Concern in planning and delivering our aid programme more effectively. We look forward to working closely with Irish Aid over the coming five years to ensure that our work has the maximum impact on reducing poverty in a sustainable way."

Supporting programmes internationally

Irish Aid supports the work of Concern and its partner organisations in 27 countries throughout Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Irish Aid funds have benefited health care, education, livelihood and HIV/AIDS programmes operated by Concern and their partners in these countries.

The White Paper on Irish Aid published last year commits the Irish government to increasing the level of funding available to NGOs and civil society groups as the aid programme expands. Irish Aid funding to these groups reached over €140 million in 2006 and will increase further in 2007.