A new survey shows the Irish public remains supportive of the government’s foreign aid spending amid a still struggling economy.
Ireland was among the first victims of the euro crisis that hit the region in late 2009. But three years on, Irish support for overseas aid remains strong — at least according to the latest poll commissioned by Dochas, an association of Irish nongovernmental organizations.
Eighty percent of respondents say it is important for Ireland to meet its pledge of spending 0.7 percent of gross national income by 2015, reinforcing public sentiment over the past few years. A similar poll in 2010 and 2011 had similar results: 81 percent and 79 percent.
A number of respondents also believe Ireland spends more than 1 percent of GNI on foreign aid, when the current ratio is only at 0.5 percent. Even those that are “more vulnerable to the recession,” such as the unemployed, have shown support for overseas aid, according to Dochas.
The figures “remind the Government that people in Ireland feel strongly about our responsibilities to the wider world, and our obligationstowardsthose less fortunate than ourselves,” Dochas said.
This is not the only survey conducted among countries in the eurozone in recent months. In February, a Eurobarometer survey showed that Europeans believe the bloc should continue its humanitarian relief efforts despite the economic crisis.
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