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Minister Costello Announces Public Consultation on Review of Irish Aid White Paper

The Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD, has today announced details of the public consultation process for the review of the 2006 White Paper on Irish Aid.

Minister Costello said the review is one of the key commitments set down in the Programme for Government and would involve wide consultation with the public and interested groups and organisations.   

Minister Costello said:

“The aim of the public consultation process is to have a national discussion on the future direction of Ireland’s aid programme. This review provides us with an opportunity to take stock of the progress that has been made since 2006. It will also help us understand the changing context in which we operate.

The aid programme managed by Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is the Irish people’s aid programme.   We are inviting members of the public to participate either by submitting their comments to Irish Aid or by attending one of four meetings scheduled to take place around the country beginning next week in Limerick.”

Over the next six weeks, public meetings will be held in Limerick (February 6th), Cork (March 5th), Dublin (March 26th) and Sligo (April 16th) to facilitate discussion on the review and allow members of the public to contribute.

Members of the public may also contribute to the review by responding in writing or by email; by organising a discussion on any matter of interest and sending responses in writing; or by following the review on Facebook, Twitter and online (full details of the options for responding are available at http://www.irishaid.ie/whitepaper/

The consultation process will also involve the Oireachtas, development Non-Governmental Organisations, the private sector, and Ireland’s partner countries.  It is expected that the review will be concluded later this year, with the publication of a report which will set out the priorities for the Government’s aid programme over the coming years.

Press Office

31 January 2012

For further information or to request an interview with Minister Costello, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 087-9099975.

Note to the Editor:

-          Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Directorate of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

-          The review was officially launched by the former Minister of state for Trade and Development in June 2011. For further information see http://www.irishaid.ie/latest_news.asp?article=1797

-          The Irish Aid Expert Advisory Group (EAG) will offer independent advice to the Minister throughout its duration. For further information about the EAP please go to http://www.irishaid.ie/article.asp?article=1795

-          In order to inform the debate and stimulate discussion, a consultation paper for the review of the White Paper on Irish Aid has been developed published.  Hard copies of the consultation paper summary document will be widely distributed and are also available online:http://www.irishaid.ie/whitepaper/ 

-          There will also be consultation with members of the Oireachtas, while the Irish Embassy in Irish Aid partner country will undertake consultation locally.

-          In 2012, the Government will provide a total of €639 million towards official development assistance budget for programmes in some of the poorest countries focusing on the fight against hunger, poverty and exclusion.