Dáil Éireann - Volume 315 - 27 June, 1979

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Aid to Underdeveloped Countries.

17. Mr. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the amount of official development aid sent to underdeveloped countries in the last financial year: (i) in monetary terms and (ii) as a percentage of our GNP.

Mr. D. Andrews: Ireland's Official Development Assistance totalled £8.271 million in 1978. This represented 0.13 per cent of GNP.

Mr. O'Keeffe: Am I correct when I say that the UN recommendation is 0.7 per cent of GNP? Have the Government any plans to increase our contribution so as to conform with the UN recommendation?

Mr. D. Andrews: We are working very hard to reach the UN recommendation. The figure for 1979 proves that, because it shows an increase of 38 per cent on the 1978 figure in relation to our total commitment to the Third World. The figure for 1979 is £14.5 million.

Mr. O'Keeffe: Is not 0.13 per cent just one-fifth of the UN recommendation?

Mr. D. Andrews: It is a move in the right direction. It is a good figure. The Minister for Foreign Affairs has done a good job in the two years he has been in that office.