128. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the degree to which all overseas aid agencies receiving direct or indirect aid from this country are subject to audits to ensure compliance with regulations and prevention of potential conflict of interest; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14488/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): It is a requirement of all grant agreements that partners in receipt of Irish Aid funding provide annual audited accounts. With regard to International Organisations such as UN bodies, audit requirements are laid down in international agreements. The Department usually receives audited financial statements from these bodies. In addition, with regard to the UN bodies, the Department receives the reports on internal aud...

17. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which information is available in respect of links between major financial investment corporations or banking institutions with national or international aid agencies; if the agencies involved have been audited in recent times; if such links might indicate a conflict of interest; if there are other implications in the context of aid for trade; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11570/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): I propose to take Questions Nos. 17 and 18 together.
There is a global recognition that greater volumes of finance are needed to eradicate poverty and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This finance can come from many sources, including governments, international development NGOs, multilateral bodies, international finance institutions, philanthropists, and the private sector.
Regardless of the s...

18. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which major private contributors to international aid organisations have secured an understanding for a quid pro quo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11571/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): I propose to take Questions Nos. 17 and 18 together.
There is a global recognition that greater volumes of finance are needed to eradicate poverty and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This finance can come from many sources, including governments, international development NGOs, multilateral bodies, international finance institutions, philanthropists, and the private sector.
Regardless of the s...

265. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the Cabinet committee that covers overseas development aid. (Question 32467/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): The purpose of the Cabinet Committees is to provide political oversight of relevant initiatives and developments in policy areas, in particular where there is a need for coordinated action across Departments and agencies.
The Government’s policy on international development, One World One Future, was approved by Cabinet in 2013. It provides for a whole-of-government approach to international development and...

314. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way the level of overseas aid is decided each year; and the criteria which determines the eligible projects. (Question 21943/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe McHugh): The Government is strongly committed to Ireland’s overseas aid programme, and to its place at the heart of our foreign policy. In the Programme for Government we have set out our ambition to make progress towards the UN target of providing 0.7% of GNP to Official Development Assistance (ODA) as resources permit.
Over the past two years we have managed to increase funding allocations for ODA, providing an incre...

26. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the details of the EU trust fund for Africa and Ireland’s involvement especially in regard to Irish Aid’s partner countries; and his views on whether EU funding relating to refugees should be allocated to countries with appalling records on human right, for example, Eritrea. (Question 36126/16 asked on 23 Nov 2016 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan: My question relates to EU funding, including the EU trust fund, and where and how it is being allocated. I have concerns about some of the areas where the funds are being allocated.
 ...

359. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which he continues to monitor aid distribution throughout Africa and other locations with a view to ensuring high standards in respect of distribution and accountability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32099/16 asked on 25 Oct 2016 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am keenly aware of the need for the distribution of our development assistance to be carefully monitored, ensuring that it reaches its intended beneficiaries and makes a real difference in the lives of the poorest people.
Peer reviews by the OECD of the Irish Aid programme have singled out Ireland’s focus on the poorest countries in the world. These reviews have commended our aid distribution to Sub-Saharan Africa and other are...

583. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he is aware that the most recent Aid Transparency Index has placed Ireland 38th out of 46 major donors; that this is the fourth time in six years that Irish Aid’s transparency levels have rated as poor; and if he will explain why Irish Aid has achieved such poor results. (Question 9798/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Ireland’s aid programme has consistently been recognised internationally for its quality, effectiveness and engagement with the Irish public. We place a strong emphasis on aid transparency in the Government’s development programme, which is managed by Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Publishing data on aid activities allows the Irish public and the partners we work with in developing countries to know an...

161. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the checks in place to ensure that development aid funds are not used for the supply of military equipment; and if he will give a categorical guarantee that no such funds have been used for this purpose. (Question 3315/16 asked on 27 Jan 2016 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Ireland does not finance the supply of any military equipment to partner country Governments using development assistance funds. Under OECD rules, it is not permitted to finance the supply of military equipment using development assistance funds. The OECD Statistical Reporting Directive states that the financing of military equipment or services is generally excluded from the reporting of what counts as Official Development Assi...

510. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a full audit has been conducted into the budget allocation to Irish Aid in 2014; if there were matters of concern, raised in this audit, to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8255/15 asked on 24 Feb 2015 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As with all Government Departments, Irish Aid expenditure is audited annually by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The Comptroller and Auditor General conducted an audit of the budget allocation for the Vote in 2014 and his report was published on 26 September 2014. The report did not highlight any matters of concern.
 ...

835. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide reassurances that no development aid funds made available by Ireland to countries in Africa are being used to finance instruction in the technique of symphysiotomy or to fund the performance or promotion of this operation in those countries. (Question 41940/14 asked on 04 Nov 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Sean Sherlock): The Government’s aid programme, Irish Aid, is strongly focused on the fight against poverty and hunger in sub-Saharan Africa. Over 80% of Ireland’s bilateral development cooperation funding is provided to countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where maternal mortality figures remain the highest in the world. 
Over 20% of our funding is targeted towards strengthening the national and local health strategies and h...

441. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which he continues to monitor aid distribution throughout Africa and other locations with a view to ensuring high standards in respect of distribution and accountability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 38233/14 asked on 07 Oct 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Sean Sherlock): As Minister of State with responsibility for Ireland’s Official Development Assistance, I am acutely aware of the need to ensure that our development assistance reaches its intended beneficiaries and makes a real difference in the lives of the world’s poorest people. Ireland’s aid programme has always had a strong poverty focus and the new development policy “One World One Future” will strengthen that focus...

1180. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the action the Irish Government is taking to ensure Irish aid gets delivered cross-border to those in most acute need in opposition controlled areas in Syria (Question 33247/14 asked on 17 Sep 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Sean Sherlock): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1180, 1215 and 1216 together.
The protracted crisis in Syria has resulted in immense humanitarian need. More than 190,000 people have lost their lives, and there are now over 10.8 million people within the country who are in need of immediate life-saving support, 4.7 million of them in areas that are very difficult to access. There are a further 3 million Syrian refugees requ...

1215. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the level of humanitarian aid provided to date in 2014 for Syria and that general region; his proposals to provide further humanitarian assistance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34670/14 asked on 17 Sep 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Sean Sherlock): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1180, 1215 and 1216 together.
The protracted crisis in Syria has resulted in immense humanitarian need. More than 190,000 people have lost their lives, and there are now over 10.8 million people within the country who are in need of immediate life-saving support, 4.7 million of them in areas that are very difficult to access. There are a further 3 million Syrian refugees requ...

1216. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has raised at EU Foreign Affairs Council meetings the need for the international community to honour the commitments made at the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria and that region in relation to humanitarian assistance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34671/14 asked on 17 Sep 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Sean Sherlock): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1180, 1215 and 1216 together.
The protracted crisis in Syria has resulted in immense humanitarian need. More than 190,000 people have lost their lives, and there are now over 10.8 million people within the country who are in need of immediate life-saving support, 4.7 million of them in areas that are very difficult to access. There are a further 3 million Syrian refugees requ...

10. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if, following the misappropriation of Irish Aid funds through corrupt means involving the Government of Uganda, he will outline the improvements and strengthening of safeguards to ensure Irish Aid funds reach the intended persons who are most in need; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23218/14 asked on 28 May 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Deputy Seán Kyne: I wish to ask the Minister of State about the improvements made and the safeguards put in place in the use of Irish funds abroad, particularly following the misappropriation discovered in Uganda in November 2012.
 ...

68. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the specifics of the new initiative he launched at the meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, through which Ireland, Mozambique, Finland and Switzerland will work together to strengthen the quality and co-ordination of development co-operation in Mozambique and to bring new donors, such as China and Brazil, and civil society organisations into aid co-ordination and planning; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23192/14 asked on 27 May 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello): I represented the Government at last month’s inaugural High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation in Mexico. For Ireland an overriding priority for the partnership, and one which informed our participation in Mexico, is to renew momentum on strengthening aid effectiveness at country level. Ireland has a strong record on making aid more effective, on harmonising and al...

35. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide an update regarding Irish Aid’s spend for 2014; the checks and controls in place to ensure there is no fraud and that value for money is achieved for the taxpayer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8087/15 asked on 26 Feb 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Sean Sherlock) (Deputy Sean Sherlock): Last Year the Government allocated almost €600 million for Official Development Assistance (ODA). €479 million was managed by my Department under Vote 27 – International Co-operation, while a further estimated €120 million is accounted for by ODA-eligible contributions by other Government Departments and Ireland’s share of the EU Development Co-operation Budget. The detailed expendit...

68. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which his Department continues to compare the effectiveness of bilateral and general aid in developing countries with particular reference to the strength of administration in the recipient countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8584/14 asked on 19 Feb 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello): I propose to take Questions Nos. 68, 69 and 78 together. 
As Minister of State with responsibility for Ireland’s Official Development Assistance, I am very conscious of the need to have a high level of assurance that our development assistance is effective, reaches its intended beneficiaries and makes a real difference in the lives of the world’s poorest people.
Programmes in receipt of Irish Aid funding are ...

69. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the degree to which the practice of aid for trade has become obvious throughout Africa; if specific countries appear particularly vulnerable in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8585/14 asked on 19 Feb 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello): I propose to take Questions Nos. 68, 69 and 78 together. 
As Minister of State with responsibility for Ireland’s Official Development Assistance, I am very conscious of the need to have a high level of assurance that our development assistance is effective, reaches its intended beneficiaries and makes a real difference in the lives of the world’s poorest people.
Programmes in receipt of Irish Aid funding are ...

78. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which efforts continue to be made to ensure that international aid goes directly to those for whom it was intended; that administrative costs are kept to a minimum; and that issues relating to misspent or unaccounted for aid are adequately addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8594/14 asked on 19 Feb 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello): I propose to take Questions Nos. 68, 69 and 78 together. 
As Minister of State with responsibility for Ireland’s Official Development Assistance, I am very conscious of the need to have a high level of assurance that our development assistance is effective, reaches its intended beneficiaries and makes a real difference in the lives of the world’s poorest people.
Programmes in receipt of Irish Aid funding are ...

79. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which a reimbursement has been made in respect of mis-spent Irish aid to Uganda; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8595/14 asked on 19 Feb 2014 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello): In October 2012, all Irish development assistance due to be channelled through Government of Uganda systems was suspended, following the discovery of fraud in the Office of the Prime Minister. Since then the Government of Uganda has refunded in full the €4 million of Irish Aid funds which were misappropriated.
Ireland continues to press the Government of Uganda for concerted action following the fraud. To d...

143. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide a breakdown of the €9.023 million given by Irish Aid in 2012 to Mozambique under the heading general budget support; if he will provide a breakdown of exactly where the money was spent; the level of parliamentary oversight the Mozambique Government has in relation to this funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50644/13 asked on 26 Nov 2013 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello): I propose to take Questions Nos. 143 and 144 together.
Mozambique is one of the nine key partner countries for the Government’s development cooperation programme, where we have a commitment to long term strategic assistance. Ireland’s bilateral aid programme to Mozambique is governed by a five year country strategy (2012–16). The goal of the programme is to support sustainable, inclusive, development, and t...

144. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide a breakdown of the €15.223 million given for health, HIV and AIDS purposes in Mozambique; if he will provide a breakdown of the €5.593 million given towards education in Mozambique and the €1.782 million to agriculture; the amount that was given directly to the Mozambique Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50645/13 asked on 26 Nov 2013 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello): I propose to take Questions Nos. 143 and 144 together.
Mozambique is one of the nine key partner countries for the Government’s development cooperation programme, where we have a commitment to long term strategic assistance. Ireland’s bilateral aid programme to Mozambique is governed by a five year country strategy (2012–16). The goal of the programme is to support sustainable, inclusive, development, and t...

11. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade further to Parliamentary Question No. 133 of 8 October 2013, the standards of accountability and transparency that have been set for bilateral assistance which are referred to; the mechanisms in place to measure the IMF and World Bank against these standards; if a copy of the scores for same will be made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43485/13 asked on 15 Oct 2013 - Overseas Development Aid Oversight)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): The Government’s new development policy, “One World, One Future”, sets out the vision, goals and priorities for our overseas aid programme over the coming four years. The policy includes a clear commitment to accountability and transparency, to the Irish people and to our development partners in what we do, how we work, and what we are achieving. It states clearly that we will also work with our partners - Governments, ...