Ireland "leading the way" in global poverty fight

"No other country is doing more", the European Commission says

Syria, residents, poverty, Madaya, cats, dogs, residents, ICRC, report,

A family crosses a street piled with rubbish in Aleppo, Syria in January 2013 | Image: Andoni Lubaki / AP/Press Association Images

The European Commission says Ireland is leading the way in the global fight against poverty.

It says no other country is doing more to harness international co-operation to help the poor and tackle universal illiteracy.

The Commission reports that at present 123 million women and children around the world can not read or write and this, with other political tensions, is ultimately leading to mass migration towards Europe.

Speaking in Dublin today, the EU Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development, Mr. Neven Mimicha, said many countries can learn a lot from the Irish approach to helping the poor of the world.

"Ireland is very active in directing and channeling its development aid to the fragile countries," he said. 

In a press release, President of the European Commission called on Europe to do more to "tackle the tragedy of thousands of migrants and refugees that every year cross the Mediterranean, fleeing from poverty, war and persecution."

Vice-President Federica Mogherini said migration must be managed "in a coordinated, sustainable, jointly responsible and human way."

At an event yesterday for UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty, President Michael D Higgins said it was important to examine economic policies in order for poverty to be eliminated.

In Budget 2017, the government allocated €651 million for development assistance, an increase of €10 million on 2016. However, aid agency Trocaire was critical of the move, pointing out that it left aid spending at the same level as 17 years ago, measured in relation to the size of the economy.

Ireland has an international commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on helping the world’s poorest people, yet this budget will bring us further from this commitment," Trócaire executive director Éamonn Meehan said following the announcement.