Foreign Affairs | Extent of essential services provided overseas by Irish Aid
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the degree to which Irish overseas aid agencies continue to provide essential services such as safe running water on tap; the locations currently benefit such services through Irish Aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Our international development policy A Better World sets out Ireland’s overarching goal as reaching the furthest behind first– those in the world’s poorest or most climate-exposed countries or those living in conflict settings, with a particular emphasis on protecting women and girls and a particular focus on sub- Saharan Africa.
Ireland recognises the fundamental importance of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene for the advancement of the health and well-being of all. We support Irish NGOs to work in partnership with local organisations to expand access to clean water globally. In Palestine, for instance, Ireland is supporting the construction of a solar power plant that provides clean and sustainable energy to increase the availability and quality of clean water in Gaza. Ireland has a partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme since 2014 to support national and regional institutions to build their capacity for freshwater quality monitoring. The provision of water, sanitation and hygiene is consistently a top priority need in crises and emergencies. As a result, the agencies and organisations funded by Irish Aid allocate a significant amount or Ireland’s funding to such programming.
Through our mission network and global partners, Ireland takes a system-strengthening approach to expand the provision of essential government services, including health and education. Our support to education systems builds infrastructure and trains teachers to ensure that all children have access to their right to 12 years of inclusive and high-quality education, including in crisis or conflict-affected settings. Our support to health systems focuses on strengthening and addressing inequitable access to quality health services.
Children, women, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and those from marginalised communities face specific challenges in accessing essential services, particularly in emergencies, conflict and protracted crises. Ireland’s development cooperation takes a rights-based and universal approach to social protection, aiming to deepen coverage and extend the provision of inclusive social protection programmes.
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