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Government Estimates reflect betrayal of world's poorest - Ó Snodaigh

17 November, 2005


Sinn Féin spokesperson for International Affairs Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said the Government Estimates, announced today, "reflect a betrayal of the world's poorest." Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Rather than employing the benchmark of the United State's spending on overseas aid, as Minister Cowen did today, we should measure ourselves against and join the ranks of Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden who have committed to contributing 1% of their GNP to the world's poorest."

He said, "The spending estimate for Overseas Development Aid, while implying a welcome increase in this states assistance to developing countries, falls short of a genuine effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. This meagre increase to 0.47% of GNP in 2006, 0.5% in 2007 and ultimately 0.7% by 2012 constitutes a broken promise.

"Following intense, sustained and widespread campaigning on the issue in Ireland and abroad the government had made a commitment to reach 0.7% of GNP by 2007. Last September Minister Dermot Ahern shamefully announced that the government would be reneging on this commitment just one week after the United Nation's 2005 Human Development Report ranked Ireland as the second wealthiest country in the world. The estimates today reflect a betrayal of the world's poorest.

"Sinn Féin believes contributions from this state of 0.7% GNP from the year 2007 are fundamental to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and to this end we recommend an interim spending guarantee of .62% of GNP on overseas development assistance in 2006. Rather than employing the benchmark of the United State's spending on overseas aid, as Minister Cowen did today, we should measure ourselves against and join the ranks of Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden who have committed to contributing 1% of their GNP to the world's poorest." ENDS

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