VSI signs letter to protect Aid Budget
25 Mar 2009
VSI today signed a letter from over 59 NGO's to An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD to protect the Aid Bidget from further cuts.
'We write to you, on behalf of our 1,000,000 supporters in Ireland, to urge you to apply these principles in protecting the world's poorest people from a crisis they did not create.
Ireland's overseas aid makes real and positive differences to the lives of millions of people across the developing world. Our aid programme is recognised internationally for its quality and its focus on the world's poorest and most vulnerable communities. Aid from Ireland embodies our commitment to fairness and equity.
Ireland's pledges on overseas aid are made as a percentage of our national income. As the economy contracts, our overseas aid also contracts.
However, over the last 8 months, the Government has gone beyond this built-in reduction and cut the overseas aid budget three times, by the equivalent of 17% of the original aid budget for 2009. This is a far deeper cut than has been incurred in any other area of public spending to date. Moreover, those cuts will have a direct and immediate impact on the poorest people on earth: The World Bank predicts that 200,000 to 400,000 more children a year may die if the global economic crisis persists.
Taoiseach, in recognition of the significant cuts already made, we urge you to ensure that the overseas aid budget is protected from further cuts.' More