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Irish Aid Annual Report highlights global impact of Ireland’s ODA programme

Supporting global access to vaccines, responding to complex humanitarian crises, and committing to more than double climate finance were among the key achievements of Ireland’s overseas development assistance (ODA) programme in 2021, according to the Irish Aid Annual Report released today.

The report was launched today by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D., and Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D.

The Annual Report shows that Ireland invested a record €976 million in ODA in 2021. This was an increase from €868 million in 2020 and surpasses the previous high of €921 million spent in 2008.

Key highlights from the 2021 ODA Annual Report include:

  • Ireland pledged 5 million vaccines to people in low income countries, as well as providing €8.5 million to COVAX to support vaccine procurement and administration. Ireland’s first vaccine donation took place in September 2021 when 335,000 vaccines were delivered to Uganda, with further quantities delivered to Nigeria, Ghana and Indonesia.
  • Ireland contributed €92 million to climate finance in 2021 and committed to increase that to €225 million annually by 2025.
  • Ireland invested almost €230 million in responding to humanitarian disasters in 2021, including those caused by conflict and climate change.

Minister Coveney said:

In the face of growing challenges posed by conflict, climate change, COVID-19 and other crises, we redoubled our efforts to implement A Better World, Ireland’s development cooperation policy. January 2021 saw Ireland take up its seat as an elected member of the UN Security Council. Throughout the year, we worked to integrate our development and political priorities in contributing to the Council’s vital peace and security mandate."

“We continue to address the underlying causes and drivers of conflict, including the impact of climate change. Ireland co-chaired, with Niger, the Security Council’s working group on Climate and Security in 2021. In December, Ireland and Niger brought a climate-related Resolution to the Security Council for the first time. This Resolution called for a more systematic approach to climate analysis and action in the Council’s work. Unfortunately, despite receiving the second-highest number of co-sponsors from General Assembly members in the history of the UN, the Resolution was vetoed by the Russian Federation. We are not deterred in pursuing this agenda and continue to strongly engage in diplomacy on the links between Climate and Security, as well as financing programmes to address these issues in some of the world’s most fragile states.”

Minister Brophy said:

As Minister for Overseas Development Aid, I am immensely proud of the work of our international development programme in addressing the impact of complex global challenges on some of the most vulnerable people and communities."

“During 2021, we provided vital support to partners in helping deliver vaccination programmes globally. I was honoured to be in Uganda to witness Irish vaccines being put into Ugandan arms. It was a striking example of Ireland’s solidarity and support for people around the world."

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionally affected women and girls, and led to an increase in gender-based violence, higher school dropout rates, increased forced marriages, and higher levels of unemployment. One of the core principles of Ireland’s work around the world is our commitment to urgent and sustained action on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The OECD has consistently ranked Ireland as one of the member countries with the highest focus on gender equality focus in our Official Development Assistance (ODA).”

Among the examples of Ireland’s impact given in the Annual Report are:

  • In Tanzania, 235,000 refugees were supported with emergency food assistance through Ireland’s partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP).
  • In Vietnam, 57,400 people benefited from a project supported by Ireland to help farmers recover from flooding and landslides.
  • In Uganda, Ireland supported the delivery of monthly senior citizens' grants to over 368,500 people.
  • In Palestine, Ireland provided €1.5 million in emergency humanitarian support in response to the needs caused by the hostilities in May 2021.
  • In Sudan, Ireland provided €3.6 million in humanitarian assistance in the context of approximately one in three people requiring aid.
  • In Tanzania, 27,000 young people were reached with sexual and reproductive health and rights support.

Ireland has continued to increase its ODA budget. Budget 2023 allocates over €1.2 billion for international development. This is an increase of 17% on 2022 figures and is the highest amount ever provided for Ireland’s development programme.

Irish Aid Annual Report 2021



Press Office

18 October 2022


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