Skip to main content

Christian Aid has welcomed the publication of A Better World, Ireland’s new policy on overseas aid and development, launched in Dublin on Thursday by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Minister for International Development, Ciarán Cannon.

Rosamond Bennett, Chief Executive of Christian Aid Ireland said:

“We warmly welcome the Government’s commitment, by 2030, to reach the UN target of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income on overseas aid and development. We also welcome the policy’s focus on gender equality, strengthening governance, reducing humanitarian need, and tackling climate change - four areas which align very closely with our programmes overseas.”

“We agree with the Government’s analysis that gender inequality undermines the potential for transformative change: achieving gender equality could increase global GDP by US$12 trillion in a ten-year period. We therefore welcome the policy’s commitments to: the education of girls; women’s sexual and reproductive rights; women’s economic empowerment; and women’s inclusion in politics.”

“We strongly welcome the explicit focus on Protection: Peace, Conflict Prevention and Fragility as one of the proposed interventions. Though conflict and peace are cross-cutting issues, they require a specific standalone and explicit focus to meet the scale of the challenge.”

“The Government is right to say that the most intractable problems are in fragile and conflict-affected countries, and that climate change is compounding conflict. And we welcome the recognition that human rights can only be realised through representation and participation, especially of those left behind.”

Ms Bennett concluded:

“At a time of global uncertainty, when some governments across the globe are actively undermining human rights and multilateralism, there is much to welcome in Ireland’s new development policy. It provides the opportunity to set us apart as a country that actively and meaningfully champions human rights.”

“As we begin to prioritise peace, will we also challenge rampant militarisation that is undermining the work of local peace actors, including from regional actors such as the EU? And as Ireland increases its global footprint, it is imperative that aid remains entirely untied to trade and that human rights guide our actions in business, particularly in conflict-affected countries.”