Ireland this week hosted a two-day meeting of ministers from across the OECD to discuss responses to a significant rise in global poverty linked to COVID-19.
The meeting, which ran over Wednesday and Thursday of this week, will be chaired by Minister of State for Overseas Development Colm Brophy TD and will bring together development ministers from 29 OECD countries, including the US, UK and EU states.
Against the backdrop of rising global poverty, due in large part to the effects of the pandemic and climate change, OECD ministers will discuss how overseas development aid can help shape effective global responses.
Minister Brophy said, “I am conscious as we begin to see normality return that the pandemic will continue to impact on the lives of millions and millions of people in countries not as well off as our own, potentially for years to come. Jobs have been lost. Food is scarce. Children have had their education interrupted.”
“Many, particularly young girls, will never return to school. Instead, they may be forced into early marriage. Hard won progress over the past twenty years is being reversed, just as the impact of climate change is being felt across the developing world.”
“That is why this week’s meeting of ministers for international development from across the OECD is important. I look forward to encouraging an open discussion on how we can collectively respond to these challenges – as donors, we can do much more working together than working separately.”
This week’s meeting is part of the Tidewater Conference initiative, an annual meeting of ministers from across OECD countries. Originally planned on being an in-person gathering, it will now take place virtually.
Minister Brophy will be joined in Dublin’s Mansion House by Susanna Moorehead, chair of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, with delegates from other countries joining virtually.
The Tidewater Conference is an in camera meeting, designed to be an open space for ministers to reflect and discuss challenges and potential solutions. The discussion on climate change will contribute to the UN COP26 summit to be held in Edinburgh this November.