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Ireland’s ODA Programme

The Irish Government’s official aid programme, works on behalf of Irish people to address poverty, hunger, and inequality in some of the world’s poorest countries and is an integral part of Ireland’s foreign policy.

UNICEF-Herwig

Mariam and her sister Malak - Syrian refugees living in an informal tented settlement in Jordan. Photo: UNICEF/Herwig

What we do

Ireland’s development cooperation programme aims to reduce poverty, hunger and humanitarian need, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. By supporting long term development and providing humanitarian assistance, we are helping to build better futures for some of the world’s poorest communities.

A Better World, Ireland’s policy for international development, provides the framework for Ireland’s expanding development cooperation programme. It will guide us in achieving our ambition of a more equal, peaceful, and sustainable world. Ireland’s international development priorities, as outlined in A Better World, are: Reducing Humanitarian Need, Climate Action, Gender Equality and Strengthening Governance. We focus on areas where Ireland has proven expertise and can make a real difference, including in conflict prevention and resolution, humanitarian action, agriculture and nutrition, health, social protection and education.

Who we work with

We work closely with a range of development partners to ensure that our aid makes a difference in the lives of poor people and communities. This includes governments, local authorities and communities in developing countries as well as local and international aid agencies. We also support the work of international organisations such as the European Union and the United Nations.

What we spend

Ireland ranks number one in 2019 and 2020 for the most effective aid programme in the Principled Aid Index. Funds are spent using a mix of funding approaches to support development programmes in our partner countries, the work of international organisations such as the UN or World Bank, and the work of Irish, national and international non-governmental organisations. Irish Aid funding is also used to support emergency and humanitarian crises. 

  • In 2019, more than 79 per cent of Ireland’s bilateral aid targeted gender equality.
  • Our Humanitarian Programme Plan provided €14.9 million in funding to support Irish NGOS to respond to humanitarian crises.
  • Ireland will provide at least €250 million to global education by 2024
  • In 2019 Ireland provided €3.25 million in core and bilateral funding to UN Women as a key partner in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment globally
  • In 2019, Ireland provided at least €80 million in climate finance.

You can find a detailed breakdown of Irish Aid’s spending in our Annual Report.

How we are accountable

Firstly, we are accountable to the Irish people for how we manage and oversee Ireland’s official aid programme. The programme is also subject to the scrutiny of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee and the Public Accounts Committee.  And to ensure that funds are well managed and targeted, we have stringent audit and evaluation systems in place both in Ireland and in our key partner countries. Regular audits and evaluations of all programmes are carried out by the Evaluation and Audit Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

For more Information

Visit the Irish Aid website for more information on Ireland’s official development assistance programme.