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'Budget 2021 must protect critical funding for world’s poorest'

Press release21 September 2020

Ireland’s largest humanitarian organisation, Concern Worldwide, is urging the Government to protect the existing budget for Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the upcoming Budget.

The launch of Concern's Pre-Budget Submission comes at a time of unprecedented global need as a result of poverty, hunger, conflict, climate events and a global pandemic.

“There has never been a greater need for the Government to play its part,” Concern CEO Dominic MacSorley said.

“At the start of this year – before the COVID-19 pandemic --  a record 168 million people required humanitarian assistance.  Driven by the pandemic, by June, these needs had increased exponentially.  The needs range from health, food and nutrition, to shelter, water and sanitation, education and protection.”

Ireland’s budget for ODA is €837 million this year.  In its programme for government, the coalition committed to making annual, sustainable progress, ultimately achieving the UN target of 0.7% of Gross National Income by 2030. It stated it would set a monetary expenditure floor on the basis of 2019, to be calculated over a rolling current three-year average.

In its pre-Budget submission, Concern is urging the Government to honour this commitment and ensure that support to organisations like Concern is adequate and proportionate to the amounts allocated to multilateral mechanisms, such as the United Nations.

“We know there are challenging times ahead here at home but we also know that Ireland’s Official Development Assistance works and is needed now more than ever to protect millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable from slipping deeper into acute hunger and starvation as result of the triple threat of climate, conflict and now the COVID pandemic,” said Mr MacSorley.

Concern Worldwide Chief Executive Dominic MacSorley
Ireland has an exemplary record of reaching the furthest behind first. It is vital that Budget 2021 provides the means for this work to continue at this critical moment for humanity and the planet.
Dominic MacSorley - Chief Executive, Concern Worldwide

Concern’s pre-Budget submission includes the following asks of the Government as part of Budget 2021:

  • Maintain the budget for ODA to respond to existing and growing needs;
  • Recognise the exponential increase in humanitarian need precipitated by COVID-19, and allocate additional funding accordingly;
  • Work to ensure that Irish Government budgetary support to Irish organisations like Concern is adequate and proportionate to the amounts allocated to multi-lateral mechanisms;
  • Ensure that funding for climate adaptation programmes and responses are adequately supported and proportionate to climate mitigation funding;
  • Review the 2009 Commission on Taxation Report recommendations and engage non-governmental organisations in the design of successful approaches that promote philanthropy and legacy giving;
  • Support Ireland’s role on the United Nations Security Council to promote peace, and to prevent and end conflicts that destroy progress and devastate lives.

Last year, with the Irish public’s and Irish Government’s support, Concern reached 28.6 million people in 24 countries. Our work included responding to 82 emergencies.

For media queries contact Eamon Timmins, Media Relations Manager, Concern Worldwide, at or 087 9880524.

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