For Oral Answer on : 27/04/2023
Question Number(s): 12 Question Reference(s): 19765/23
Department: Foreign Affairs
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will report on his latest engagement with Dóchas; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Dóchas is the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations. Its mission is to enable international development and humanitarian organisations in Ireland to achieve greater impact by working together. The Tanaiste and I met with Dóchas and the CEOs of key Irish international NGOs on 22 February 2023. I was keen to meet with these stakeholders as a group as early as possible in my new role, and had earlier held bilateral meetings with each of the CEOs at the meeting.
The OECD has commended Ireland for the quality of our partnerships with NGOs, calling it a “hallmark of our development cooperation”. The Irish international NGO sector has a strong international reputation. Irish NGOs carry out important work supporting development and delivering humanitarian assistance and protection. They are well placed to ensure aid reaches those to whom it is intended and are very well informed of the realities on the ground.
We discussed a wide range of issues, including the global humanitarian system, the importance of gender equality and how we can effectively reach those who are furthest behind. Increasing humanitarian crises were noted as presenting a risk to hard-won development gains. Shrinking civil society space was highlighted as a significant challenge. The sector acknowledged Ireland’s agility as a development partner, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in response to recent humanitarian crises. We expressed our appreciation for the impressive work of Irish international NGOs in the context of increased conflict, climate change, extreme violence against women and girls and growing inequality. We also acknowledged the highly valuable contextual information which the sector shared during our term on the UN Security Council. The Tanaiste and I will continue to meet with the sector on a regular basis.
The Department has provided support to Dóchas since 2002. The Department has entered into a new four year strategic partnership with Dóchas in 2023 and will provide €365,000 a year as contribution to core costs . Additionally, the Department will provide €150,000 to Dóchas in 2023 and in 2024 for a public engagement research project, Worldview.