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Foreign Affairs | Irish aid implementation process

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the degree to which Irish aid goes directly to those to whom it was intended in a smooth and seamless transition; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Ireland’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), directed through multilateral and bilateral channels, is provided to countries and communities in greatest need. Our cross-government international development policy, A Better World, is underpinned by the commitment to reaching the furthest behind first. 

The OECD Development Assistance Committee’s latest peer review, in May 2022, found that Ireland “walks the talk” in allocating ODA to least developed countries and fragile states, through priority partners and sectors. While the average DAC member’s bilateral allocation to these countries is just under one quarter, the OECD noted that half of Ireland’s ODA is bilateral aid to low income and least developed countries. 

Ireland is noted as a constructive and reliable partner to multilateral organisations, with funding that is of high quality. The OECD highlighted Ireland as “an excellent humanitarian partner”, with its funding models a “useful inspiration for other donors”. In 2021 Ireland reached almost 100% flexible humanitarian funding.  Over 50% of this was provided on a multi-annual basis. This long-term, flexible approach to financing is essential to allow our trusted partners to respond quickly to changing crises.

In terms of our bilateral partnerships, Ireland is one of the leading donors in providing support to and through Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), with the OECD peer review finding that these relationships are characterised by mutual trust, quality funding, and an open culture for substantive and regular dialogue. Our support to and through CSOs working at the community level, helps to ensure that funding goes directly to benefit those most in need.

In 2020, the respected international think-tank ODI assessed the characteristics of ODA expenditure in leading donors and found Ireland to be the most principled donor, noting specifically Ireland’s needs-based approach. 

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