Free legal aid for victims of violence in Ethiopia, more fuel-efficient cooking in Malawi and contributing towards reducing maternal mortality in Mozambique were just some of the achievements credited to Irish development aid in its key partner countries last year, according to Irish Aid’s Annual Report 2015.
More than 28,000 poor and marginalised victims of violence, some 70 per cent of whom were women, received free legal aid as a result of Ireland’s work in Ethiopia last year. Meanwhile, an estimated 382,000 households were using more fuel-efficient cooking stoves in Malawi as part of Irish Aid’s work in adapting to the effects of climate change.
Ireland’s leading role in improving health in Mozambique continued to yield dividends with the continued increase in the numbers of supervised births in the country, considered to be a major step towards reducing maternal mortality. The proportion reached 75 per cent in 2015, up from 62 per cent in 2010.
Meanwhile, Ireland also led on the development of a recovery plan for Sierra Leone, which was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation in 2015. Ireland’s coordinating role to bring the outbreak under control was widely acknowledged.
In all, the Government provided more than €647 million in Official Development Assistance during 2015, some €142 million of which was spent on emergency humanitarian support in conflict and national disaster situations. This money was used to provide shelter, food and essential services to thousands of communities across the world.
The top five recipient countries of humanitarian support from Ireland in 2015 were Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Central African Republic, according to the report. Meanwhile, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi were the top five recipient countries of Ireland’s bilateral Official Development Assistance in 2015.
Irish Aid’s Annual Report 2015 also looked at the role played by Ireland in brokering the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted by world leaders in September 2015.
Commenting, Minster of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh TD said: “In a year of celebration of the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s admission to the UN, that we, together with Kenya, were elected by the President of the UN General Assembly to facilitate the brokering of a global agreement to replace the Millennium Development Goals, is testament to our internationalism and our role in the world.”
He also paid tribute to the civil society organisations who work alongside Irish Aid to implement longer term development programmes and to respond to humanitarian crises.
While Irish Aid works in a large number of countries throughout the developing world, its main focus is on sub-Saharan Africa. Irish Aid’s nine key partner countries are: Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia.
Applicants to the Simon Cumbers Media Fund are encouraged to read Irish Aid’s Annual Report 2015 to aid their understanding of development issues and for potential project ideas.
The Simon Cumbers Media Fund is operated by Irish Aid.