You are here

Will MEPs commit to overseas aid?

Dóchas, the association of Irish non-governmental organisations, is calling on MEP candidates to commit to make Europe work for overseas development.

A Dóchas conference on 15 May 2009 was attended by some of Dublin’s candidates for the European Parliament. They were asked if they would support legislation to ensure Ireland keeps its promise to spend 0.7% of national income on aid.

For and against

The following MEP candidates said they would support such legislation:

•    Proinsias de Rossa, Labour Party 
•    Joe Higgins, Socialist Party
•    Mary-Lou McDonald, Sinn Féin
•    Patricia McKenna, Independent
•    Gay Mitchell, Fine Gael
•    Eoin Ryan, Fianna Fáil

The only MEP candidate present who didn’t support the call for legislation was Deirdre de Burca of the Green Party.

€222 million cut

Ireland’s overseas aid budget has been cut by €222 million, or 24%, since 2008.

This means Ireland’s aid budget is now at 0.48% of GNP, with little hope of reaching either the 0.6% interim target by 2010 or the 0.7% target by 2012.

Concern, a member of Dóchas, was represented at the event by Connell Foley, Director of Policy, and Olive Towey, External Relations Manager.