Sun, 01 Aug 2021

DUBLIN, Ireland - Development ministers from 29 OECD countries, including the UK, U.S., and EU states have joined convenors in Dublin, for a two-day meeting to discuss responses to a significant rise in global poverty linked to COVID-19.

The largely virtual meeting, which is being run over Wednesday and Thursday of this week, is being chaired by Ireland's Minister of State for Overseas Development Colm Brophy (pictured).

Against the backdrop of rising global poverty, due in large part to the effects of the pandemic and climate change, OECD ministers are discussing how overseas development aid can help shape effective global responses.

"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," Brophy said prior to the opening of the meeting.

"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," the Irish development minister said.

The two-day meeting this week in Dublin 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 taking place virtually.

Brophy is attending in Dublin's Mansion House together with 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.

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