If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Aid is OK, but we need to keep tabs on it

I agree with the main point in Gordon Cunningham’s letter (Nov 8) that Ireland should not be donating large amounts of money to countries that are misusing this money.

This applies particularly to Uganda where €4m of Irish aid was stolen by Ugandan officials. However, Irish aid to Uganda has significantly reduced in the meantime, and more recently Irish Aid decided to cease funding to Iran’s anti-drug programme because of Iran’s policy of executing those convicted of drug trafficking, and such decisions are very welcome.

Ethiopia is the third largest recipient of Irish aid and receives over €25m annually. Yet, Ethiopia is one of the least democratic countries in receipt of Irish aid. In the 2010 elections about 97% of the candidates elected to the parliament were government-aligned candidates. Ethiopia spends an undue proportion of its resources on its security forces that have been involved in human rights abuses within Ethiopia, and Ethiopian troops have intervened several times within Somalia in the past decade.

The principle of Irish aid to poorer countries is a well justified one. Total Irish bilateral aid in 2012 was just under €439m. This is a small amount compared to the billions of euro of taxpayers’ money the Irish Government has unjustifiably paid out to bailout bankrupted banks, builders and developers.

Edward Horgan


Low blood pressure, or hypotension, can occur for a few reasons.Natural health: I'm seven months pregnant and have low blood pressure; I have psorasis due to work pressure

Almost every year, at about this time, loaves of beautifully packaged Panettone start appearing in delicatessen shops.Michelle Darmody: It's the time of the year for Panettone

It can be difficult to diagnose early.World Pancreatic Cancer Day: The signs to look out for

With flights resuming to the world famous Egyptian resort, now is the time to go, says Sarah Marshall.This is why you should be diving in Sharm el-Sheikh in 2020

More From The Irish Examiner