World Vision Ireland launch Pre-Budget Submission
Calling on Government to reaffirm commitment to vulnerable children
Putting children and young people at centre of budget 2024
World Vision Ireland's pre-budget submission is calling on the Irish Government to put children and young people at the centre of Budget 2024. The focus on children by governments and organisations around the world has diminished over the past 10-15 years as other issues have become more prominent. This has come at the same time as the global well-being of children has come under increasing threat.
The world is now at a crossroads, where hunger, malnutrition, childhood stunting, acute food insecurity, food price inflation and extreme poverty are on the rise for the first time in many years. There is now demonstrable evidence that the world is moving away from the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms, by 2030. The impacts of Covid-19 have set back humanitarian and development programmes by a decade and the climate crisis continues to pose unprecedented and unjust pressures on communities who have contributed least to it.
Climate change is eradicating ways of life in front of our eyes; climate-based conflicts are becoming more widespread and there is an ever-increasing number of climate induced shocks around the world. These are having a devastating impact on vulnerable communities around the world, not least on children. These communities who are most impacted are least responsible for the impacts of climate change. Over the coming years, the humanitarian landscape, as a result of a nexus of intensifying challenges, could be like nothing the international community has ever faced.
World Vision Ireland Recommendations:
1. World Vision Ireland greatly welcomes the successive increases in the ODA budget towards 0.7% and the Government’s commitment to ringfence the money being spent overseas. However, we share concerns about the conflation between ODA money being spent here in Ireland and money being used overseas. We join calls for Ireland to continue progress towards the target of 0.7% of GNI on Official Development Assistance (ODA) by increasing the ODA budget in 2024 by €305m.
2. The status of child rights and the focus on children by governments and organisations around the world has diminished over the past 10-15 years as other issues have become more prominent. This has come at the same time as the global well-being of children has come under increasing threat.
We encourage the Government to place child wellbeing and child focused policies and strategies at the fore in all humanitarian emergency and long-term development programming. We also ask that child participation be enabled and facilitated in relevant decisions on hunger and nutrition and climate policy processes at all levels, as children can play a significant role as agents of transformation and change.
3. Every day, millions of children are being forced to go without food or do not get enough nutritious food, in direct contrast to our vision for children to experience fullness of life. Most hungry children remain invisible, unaccounted for and unheard. 45 million children under 5 are currently suffering from wasting worldwide.
We urge the Irish Government to integrate child nutrition sensitive approaches in policies, funding and regulations affecting all hunger and nutrition related goods, programmes and services.
4. World Vision Ireland welcomes Ireland’s commitment to climate finance and the global pledge of $100bn per year. Ireland’s pledge and current commitment of €225m per year has taken a progressive step towards this, however we note that there is still a gap between our current commitment and Ireland’s fair share of climate finance. We urge the Irish Government to dramatically increase its commitment to align with its pledge.
5. Year on year, we are witnessing increasing humanitarian needs around the world. A record 240 million people in 69 countries need urgent humanitarian assistance, The majority of whom are women and children. Humanitarian programmes around the world are currently only funded to 18.3% of their total requirements, which results in millions of people missing out on life saving, emergency assistance.
We welcome Ireland’s ongoing support to the world’s most fragile contexts with timely, flexible, predictable and multi-year funding for chronic and acute crises. In line with an overall increase in ODA, we recommend Ireland increases its support to address humanitarian needs, including many of the worlds forgotten crises.