Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has welcomed Budget 2024 as a budget that expands Ireland’s global reach and reaffirms the Government’s commitment to investing in Ireland’s place in the world.
The Department’s development assistance budget for 2024 will increase by €60 million to €776.5 million, representing an 8.4% increase on the 2023 allocation. Based on current estimates, total Official Development Assistance (ODA) from across Government for 2024 will amount to €2 billion. The increase of €60 million to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ ODA contribution includes a significant increase in Ireland’s international climate finance contributions.
Tánaiste Micheál Martin said:
“With the world facing ever greater challenges from the impact of climate change, conflict and food insecurity, I welcome the increase in Budget 2024 of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ development assistance budget.
“This increase will allow Ireland to reach more people, particularly those impacted by climate change and humanitarian crisis. The provision of an additional €42.5 million in climate finance ensures that we are on schedule to meet our commitment to provide at least €225 million per year in climate finance by 2025.
“Budget 2024 also sees continued and increased investment in supporting the Good Friday Agreement. During this time of continued uncertainty in Northern Ireland, I have announced an increase of €2m for the Reconciliation Fund, a 40% increase over 2023, bringing the total to over €7m for the first time in the history of the fund.
“We will also increase funding for the Shared Island Civic Society Fund by €600,000 from this Department with an additional allocation of €1.7m to be provided through the Shared Island Fund, Department of the Taoiseach, bringing the total fund to €2.5m next year. This is an initiative designed to promote practical North-South cooperation.
“This Budget sustains the investment in the Passport Service in 2024 including in staff resources and capital investment.”
Minister for International Development and Diaspora, Sean Fleming T.D., said:
“This increased commitment to development assistance will allow us to further strengthen Ireland’s response to hunger and malnutrition around the world. More than 345 million people face high levels of food insecurity in 2023, double the number in 2020. Clearly this is unacceptable. Ireland has been playing a leading international role in the response.
“As Minister for Diaspora, I am pleased to announce an additional allocation of €1.5 million to the Government’s Emigrant Support Programme, which supports Irish community organisations all over the world. This will bring the ESP initial budget allocation for 2024 to €15.395m, the highest ever, which is very fitting as we prepare to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the programme in 2004. Supporting our diaspora remains a key priority for this Government and this budget delivers for Irish communities and for Irish heritage and culture all over the world.”
Minister for European Affairs, Peter Burke T.D., said:
“Deepening our EU relationships and our influence at EU level is a central focus for the Government. Additional funding of €500,000 will be provided to increase the number of Irish Seconded National Experts in EU institutions.
“Recognising that there is significant renewed momentum in EU enlargement policy as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Budget 2024 establishes a new funding scheme for projects that advance enlargement-related reforms in EU candidate countries. An initial sum of €1 million will be allocated for this scheme.”