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Irish people have no idea how much we spend on foreign aid

A new Ipsos MRBI poll also found that Irish people are mostly in favour of overseas aid, even in an economic downturn.

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A NEW POLL has found that the vast majority of Irish people still support overseas aid despite the economic downturn.

But it has also found that we mostly don’t know how much it is the country gives away.

The opinion poll was carried out by Ipsos MRBI and found that 75% of us felt that even in a economic downturn Ireland has an obligation to invest in overseas aid.

The survey was commissioned by Dóchas, an umbrella body of Irish aid agencies.

The percentage of people who responded in favour of overseas aid was down marginally from last year when it stood at 77%.

However, it was also found that on average Irish people massively over estimate the amount that the Government spends on foreign aid. Respondents to the survey believed it to take up 9% of the national income.

The figure is in actual fact around 20 times smaller than that, at only 0.43%.

The results were taken from a sample of 1,000 respondents.

Speaking about the results, Director of Dóchas Hans Zomer, said:

It is clear that there is strong public support for Ireland’s overseas aid programme and that the majority of the public feel that the economic crisis should not be a reason to turn our back on people less fortunate than ourselves.

Ireland gave over €637 million in overseas aid last year. This was a slight increase on the figure from 2012 of €628 million. Speaking at the launch of Irish Aid’s annual report in July, then Minister of State for Trade and Development Joe Costello, said:

Irish people can be proud of what their overseas development aid programme has achieved.

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