Last month, World and Media reported that an Irish Aid supported hospital partnership was associated with an 86 per cent reduction in maternal mortality and a 50 percent drop in stillbirths and early neonatal deaths in the Omdurman Maternity Hospital in Sudan. Today (September 12), the Government’s programme for overseas development, Irish Aid, published its annual report with some even more striking evidence for its effectiveness:
- Ethiopia: Almost 7 million people protected from hunger in 2012 through an Irish Aid supported programme, which provides cash or food in exchange for work to improve agriculture and protect the environment.
- Malawi: In Malawi, following the distribution of 263,000 bednets, suspected deaths from malaria among children under 5 have reduced by 95% since 2010.
- Mozambique: 71% of girls aged 6 in Mozambique are now enrolled in school. This is up from 58% in 2005.
- Tanzania: Since 2001, the area of agricultural land under irrigation has almost doubled (up from 200,000 hectares to 399,000 hectares), contributing to reduced hunger and increased economic opportunity for families.
- Vietnam: Two-thirds reduction in rates of mothers dying in childbirth between 1990 and 2009.
- Zambia: 400,000 people have access to clean and safe drinking water and sanitation facilities thanks to Irish Aid’s programme in Northern Province.
- Ethiopia: The proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day decreased from 56% in 2000 to 39% in 2012.
Launching the report in Dublin, Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD said: “Our aid programme can and does save lives.”
Minister Costello said: “Irish Aid works to strengthen the ability of vulnerable communities to cope with shocks such as natural disasters or illness. And today’s report shows these programmes are working."
The theme of this year’s report is Reducing Hunger, Strengthening Resilience. It highlights the difference which Irish Aid’s support is making in the lives of families affected by extreme hunger and poverty.
Minister Costello also spoke of the challenges that remain and reiterated the Government’s commitment to those living in extreme hunger and poverty.
“Our aid programme is an expression of our sense of solidarity and community with the world’s poorest people. We can be proud that it is so supported by the Irish people and that it is still recognised as one of the most effective in the world.
Looking ahead to his upcoming visit to the United Nations General Assembly later this month, when global leaders will discuss how to accelerate the progress achieved under the Millennium Development Goals, Minister Costello added:
“I firmly believe that if we can mobilise the political commitment and the will, in cooperation with our partners in the developing world, we now have a real opportunity to end extreme poverty and hunger in just one more generation.”
Reducing Hunger, Strengthening Resilience: Irish Aid Annual Report 2012 was published today, 12 September 2013. It focuses on Irish Aid's work on hunger and resilience with partner countries and at international level to strengthen world action on hunger and nutrition.