By Chinedu Onyejelem
More than €60m in funding is to be given to Irish NGOs to facilitate their work in developing countries.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the funding granted to 16 NGOs will aim to shore up sustainable development projects, and also help in the fight against poverty and hunger.
In a joint statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and Minister of State for Development Seán Sherlock said the €61.34m funding for 2016 will be solely for Irish aid agencies and their partners “with proven capacity and expertise” undertaking long-term development programmes across Africa, Asia, South and Central America and the Middle East.
“Ireland is again showing its determination to support the fight against poverty, hunger and marginalisation,” said Minister Flanagan, who added that the State “is making a sustained contribution to humanitarian support for those caught up in conflicts such as those affected by the civil war in Syria.
“Long-term development is equally critical and Ireland is supporting work that benefits the poorest, where it is needed most and where it has greatest effect,” he added.
Minister Sherlock elaborated that the funding would enable Irish partner aid organisations that can reach those most at risk to help “sustain livelihoods and education, to build resilience and promote human rights and good governance – goals shared by Irish Aid and our valued civil society partners.”
He added that the funding – the fifth round of its type – underlines Ireland’s ongoing commitment to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as agreed in 2015.
The goals targeted include continued work in the areas of agriculture, improving livelihoods, nutrition and health, as well as in social protection, education, governance and human rights.
Since the inception of the scheme in 2012, the department said Irish Aid has given €315.45m to 16 civil society programme partners for long-standing sustainable projects across the world.
Action Aid, Aidlink, ChildFund Ireland, Children in Crossfire, Christian Aid Ireland and Concern Worldwide are some of the NGOs that have benefited from this funding.
NGO funding allocations for 2016
Concern Worldwide - €19,173,597
Supporting long-term development programmes in 18 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. It aims to ensure that the poorest are meeting their basic needs through increased income and food production and improved education and health facilities.
Trócaire - €15,079,015
Supporting programmes in the 17 countries, it aims to ensure that governments are held to account through the active participation of citizens in governance structures; achieve equitable access to basic needs, services and resources; and promote, protect and defend human rights.
Goal - €11,942,977
Supporting programmes in Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and India. These programmes aim to improve health, especially maternal and child health; reduce marginalisation of vulnerable children and youth; and promote resilient livelihoods.
Christian Aid Ireland - €2,930,836
Supporting programmes in Angola, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The programmes work to bring about pro-poor government responses and increased stability and security for poor and marginalised people affected by high inequality, human rights violations and conflict.
Gorta Self Help Africa - €2,469,510
Supporting rural communities, in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia, to achieve food security through increased production and access to food, and engages in community capacity-building, advocacy and learning.
Oxfam Ireland - €1,876,419
Supporting programmes in Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe. These aim to strengthen rural livelihoods, promote women’s leadership and economic empowerment and address gender-based violence, and increase equitable access to HIV and Aids treatment and support.
Sightsavers Ireland - €1,508,345
Supporting programmes in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Cameroon, Mali and Senegal. The overall objective of the Sightsavers’ programme is to improve access to healthcare, education and social inclusion for vulnerable people, especially the blind, visually impaired and disabled.
World Vision €1,421,955
Supporting health programmes in Kenya, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. Its ‘Access Infant and Maternal Health’ programmes are addressing high levels of mother and child morbidity and mortality.
Plan Ireland - €1,079,833
Supporting programmes in Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau and Guinea, which aim to increase the quality and inclusiveness of education programmes.
Action Aid - €841,455
HelpAge International - €600,761
ChildFund Ireland - €593,653
Children in Crossfire - €533,420
Aidlink - €525,888
Front Line Defenders - €483,690
Serve in Solidarity Ireland - €278,646