Minister Costello encourages private sector contribution to the Review of Irish Aid White Paper13 March 2012
The Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., today hosted a business breakfast at Smurfit Business School in UCD to encourage the private sector to contribute to the Review of the White Paper on Irish Aid.
Minister Costello said he was keen to hear the views of Irish businesspeople on how Ireland can best support private sector development and sustainable economic growth in the developing world.
Speaking this morning, Minister Costello said:
“Ireland has taken a leadership role in the fight against global hunger; in making aid more effective, in preventing and responding to humanitarian emergencies; and in developing strong oversight mechanisms and systems of accountability.
The White Paper of 2006 is a far-reaching and comprehensive policy document. But the world is changing, and with it the context for international development.Now is an opportune time to take stock of the achievements and challenges to date and to chart our future priorities and areas of focus.
This review process is an opportunity to further explore the role of our aid programme and the potential for supporting partnerships with the private sector. Evidence shows that the one of the most effective ways to alleviate poverty is by creating the environment for the private sector to create jobs and to raise people’s incomes. A key objective of any development programme is to help partners reduce their dependency on aid over time.
My Department’s Africa Strategy recognises the opportunities that now exist to build on our strong development partnership with Africa and to move towards a more mature set of relationships that incorporate stronger elements of political exchange and sustainable two-way trade and investment flows.
The Africa Strategy advances a new approach to Africa which the White Paper Review will help build upon. I look forward very much to hearing your views on the Africa Strategy, the role of the private sector in Africa and other issues of importance.”
Public consultation meetings have already been held in Limerick and Cork and further meetings will be held in Dublin (March 26) and Sligo (April 16) to facilitate discussion on the review and allow members of the public to contribute.
The consultation process also involves the Oireachtas, development Non-Governmental Organisations and Ireland’s partner countries. It is expected that the review will be concluded later this year, with the publication of a report in autumn which will chart the priorities for the Government’s aid programme over the coming years.