Dáil Éireann - Volume 637 - 05 July, 2007

Written Answers. - Overseas Development Aid.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance if he will make a statement on the 15th replenishment of the International Development Association of the World Bank negotiations which took place on 29 and 30 June 2007 in Mozambique, including the number and directions given to Irish officials in attendance and the positions taken by the Government in relation to the replenishment; and his views on the strong argument made by both the Debt and Development Coalition and Trócaire that Ireland should refrain from making a contribution beyond the basic membership subscription to the IDA 15th replenishment unless an immediate commitment to ending economic conditionality at the World Bank is given due to the fact that such conditionality can be highly damaging and undermine local governments. [19661/07]

  Deputy Brian Cowen: Ireland is participating in the current negotiations of the 15th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA). The latest meeting took place in Maputo, Mozambique and was attended by a senior official from my Department.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government has made significant commitments to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. This commitment comprises both bilateral aid and aid to multilateral institutions including IDA. The Government is committed to fully participating in the business of IDA and the business of other World Bank institutions to ensure that resources are made available in an effective and timely manner to the poorest and least developed countries.

As the situation in developing countries evolves and the structure and composition of aid programmes are developed in response to changes in the economy and population of recipient countries, Ireland will continue to be proactive in ensuring that the aid programmes meet the needs of the poorest populations. At the same time, Ireland will work to help ensure that the aid programmes are managed in a way that is consistent with good governance, best practice and giving assurance to tax payers of donor countries, including Ireland, that their money is used in the most efficient and effective way. The concerns voiced by NGOs, including the Debt and [2048] Development Coalition and Trócaire, will be borne in mind in that context.