Why are we still cutting the aid budget?
The Irish aid budget has already been cut six times in succession. Our promise, made to the world’s poorest countries, to invest 0.7 per cent of national income in overseas aid by 2015, is nowhere near being kept as the figure slips to 0.43 per cent and below. And yet the majority of the people of Ireland think we should deliver on our promise.
Friends of Londiani’s position – and that of most Irish groups involved in overseas development – is clear: 0.7 per cent is not unreasonable. As a proportion rather than a fixed sum it will rise and fall with national income levels. And aid, properly targeted, helps the world’s poorest to escape from poverty. We can prove it too. Just have a look at this.
So if this bothers you, what can you do? Firstly, whether you’re an individual or a group, pass on the message: in October, the government is set to cut the overseas aid budget for the seventh time in a row. Now is the time to act, and protect the aid budget.
Secondly, join in! Events are planned for the 17th and the 26th of September to spread the word. The 17th of September is the date of the first sitting of the Dail after the holidays. We and other agencies are encouraging supporters to send a ‘tweet’ to government ministers, asking them not to cut the aid budget. We’ll be publishing a few suggestions in the coming week but here are two possible messages to kick off with:
- @ The majority of the public support our aid promise. Will you keep it?
- @ ‘I support our aid promise; please stop the aid cuts’
Or you could just point them to our friends at the World’s Best News, share the ‘bust the myth’ images via the link above or pass on your own message.
And speaking of the World’s Best News, if you want to do something that involves spreading the word in the old-fashioned way, you’re likely to be in or near Dublin or Cork on the 26th of September and you don’t mind getting up a little earlier than usual, then do join us.
Our large group of volunteers, which could include you, will be distributing the World’s Best News newspaper, to help spread awareness of the impact of overseas aid. It’ll be fun and important, which aren’t two words you usually see side by side. And if you do get involved and find yourself in conversation with a TD don’t forget to ask: why are we still cutting the aid budget when most Irish people support our aid promise?