Our aid programme is good for Ireland

07/07/2010 at 12:15 pm Leave a comment

Last week’s meetings of the G20 and G8 were disappointing for those of us who believe that global poverty is the greatest problem facing our planet. And they show how difficult it is for politicians to see the bigger picture.

With 1,000,000 people going to bed hungry every day, and nearly 9 million children dying each year before they’ve reached their fifth birthday, global poverty is indeed the biggest problem on earth. A problem that requires coordinated and determined action, in the shape of trade reform and better targeted aid. And a problem that we know we can overcome.

Two reports published this month, one by the UK’s Overseas Development Institute and another by the McKinsey consulting group, show that the global recipe for the eradication of extreme poverty is working.

There now is evidence that the ‘recipe’, agreed at the beginning of this century and consisting of eight “millennium development goals”, is bringing about real changes in the lives of millions of poor people. And, interestingly, 11 of the 20 countries making the most absolute progress towards the Goals are amongst the poorest countries in Africa. The investment of the past is now making a tangible and large-scale difference, and Africa’s economies are growing at ever increasing rates.

McKinsey is predicting the rise of Africa’s economic lions, akin to Asia’s Tiger economies. Overseas aid is contributing to international stability, encouraging trade, and helping to create new economic partnerships with Africa’s 900 million potential producers and consumers. Aid is helping to improve the climate for investment in developing countries and is generating enormous amounts of good-will towards Ireland and Irish companies. Our aid programme is the catalyst for many of these opportunities. What’s more, it is Ireland’s calling card to the world.

And our overseas aid programme can help us get out of the downturn: Our strategy to combat the recession is based on the need to repair the damage to our international reputation that has arisen out of the banking crisis. We now need to demonstrate that we are a country capable of keeping its promises, and willing to play its full role in the global society of states. Through the aid programme, we are given a chance to do just that.

We must, therefore, deliver on our overseas aid promise. We cannot afford not to.

Entry filed under: Overseas aid. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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6,000 mosques in #Jordan will have rooftop #solar panels installed. "In an already fragile region, subject to the whims of the international oil market and regional unrest, Jordan relies on #fossilfuel imports to meet around 95 percent of its energy demand. Insert #renewables." This innovative new move to put solar panels on the rooftops of the country's mosques could make a huge difference to resources in the region. 
Find out more here: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/25/3626956/jordan-mosques-are-going-solar/ For many years Butaleja District in Eastern Uganda has been ravaged by flood waters from the River Manafwa.

To help protect people against the destruction of their homes and farmlands, the Government of #Uganda installed solar	powered Flood Early Warning Systems to warn residents of raising water levels.

Read more: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Pages/TouchingLives.aspx?itemID=2 At "The World's Best News", we are trying to change perceptions of developing countries.
Well, here you go! 
See http://www.dardistantimes.com/pakistan/News/2133637675/17-astonishing-places-you-wouldn-t-believe-are-pakistan

Photo1: View of the Neelam Valley, Kashmir. One of the better tourist ranges in Pakistan, this valley is a 200km long bow-shaped, deeply forested region. At "The World's Best News", we are trying to change perceptions of developing countries.
Well, here you go! 
See http://www.dardistantimes.com/pakistan/News/2133637675/17-astonishing-places-you-wouldn-t-believe-are-pakistan

Photo2: Hunza Valley, Gilgit-Balistan. It’s nearly Spring, so we felt like sharing a few photos of Zimbabwe in bloom.

Photos: #Jacaranda flowers in #Harare, capital of #Zimbabwe Meet the man who built an aeroplane in his back yard.

George Mel has dreamed of flying since he was a boy, but when his father died he had to give up his studies, and any chance of training to be a pilot. 
Instead he built a plane in his back yard - which so impressed his country's air force that it gave him a job. 
Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31097612 How well do you know today’s world?

Take Hans Rosling’s 4 question test!

http://bit.ly/HansRosling_quiz Years of struggle against a small but feared #parasite are finally starting to bear fruit. 
Worldwide, there are currently only registered 126 cases of the “#GuineaWorm” disease – a parasite that is transmitted to humans through contaminated drinking water - and in a few years, the nasty worm will finally have become history.

In 1986, the World Health Organisation unleashed a global strategy to help the approximately 3.5 million people infected by the worm, and The #CarterCenter - founded by former US President Jimmy Carter - led the fight against the parasite. 
The Guinea worm is an unpleasant creature. The #larvae live in water, and they can penetrate the gut wall of people who have been drinking contaminated water, and grow into spaghetti-like worms. They migrate gradually to the skin surface and form painful sores where the worm comes out through the skin - usually on the feet. The migration from the bowel to the skin can take a whole year, and the worm can be 70-130 cm long. Once the worm has penetrated the skin, it takes about a month to slowly roll it out of the body.

The disease is only endemic in four countries are today: South Sudan, Mali, Chad and Ethiopia. If the Guinea Worm is wiped out, it will be the first time that the world has managed to fully eradicate a human disease since the end of the smallpox disease, in 1980. While parts of North America are experiencing the worst measles outbreak in 15 years, a new report shows that Africa has increased immunisation rates significantly, making the continent a world leader in protecting children against the disease.

Read more at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/07/measles-vaccination-rates-africa-surpass-north-america

Photo: A child receives a vaccination in Tchadoua, south-west Niger. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images #Beer consumption is a very reliable thermometer for the growth of the middle class in a country.

The #Ethiopian economy grew by 10.5 percent between 2004 and 2013, making it the fastest growing economy on the continent, after #Angola. The beer
market grew in the last five years by about 20 percent per year.

This has prompted multinational companies to team up with NGOs to organise farmers and promote the growing of barley, for use in locally produced beers.

The aim is to make a profit while at the same time increasing farmers’ incomes and food security.

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