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Global Citizenship Education funding to increase to €10m annually

The Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., today announced that funding for Global CitizenshipEducation in Ireland will increase by almost 60 per cent to €10 million per year by 2025.

The commitment was made as part of the launch of the Irish Aid Global Citizenship Education Strategy 2021-2025. Global Citizenship Education aims to increase public awareness and understanding of issues such as climate change, hunger, global inequality and injustice.

Minister Brophy said:

“Our world faces big challenges, such as responding to the pandemic and climate change. We can only respond to these challenges by thinking and acting together as global citizens. That’s why I want to encourage Irish people of all ages to develop a deeper understanding of our interconnected world and how we can work together with others to protect our planet and ourselves. 

“I see Global Citizenship Education as a fundamental element of the work of Irish Aid, strengthening knowledge of international development and efforts to build a better world for all. This includes delivering on the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals, a series of global targets agreed by the membership of the United Nations in a process brokered by Ireland and Kenya.   

“To achieve this aim, I am today publishing a Global Citizenship Education Strategy, which will increase Irish Aid funding for Global Citizenship Education to €10m per year. That will allow us to build on our existing engagement with nearly one million learners across Ireland since 2017, increasing the number of people exploring the links between global issues and improving their everyday lives.”

The new strategy outlines how Irish Aid will deepen and strengthen its commitment to support life-long learning, working with people of all ages both in and out of formal education, over the coming years.

In addition to increasing funding for Global Citizenship Education, the strategy highlights a number of new initiatives, including:


  • A new strategic partnership for the primary education sector implemented by a consortium made up of Trócaire, Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO), Irish Primary Principals Network and Dublin City University. This 20 month pilot will support school management and teachers to bring Global Citizenship Education into the classroom, providing  continuous professional development, creative resources, research and other supports.
  • The launch of a community initiative to engage people from the broadest possible range of backgrounds, including those marginalised from mainstream education, in learning about a broad range of global citizenship issues. This new programme will build on work in the youth, adult and community sectors to support and motivate young people as well as those engaged in the adult and community sectors, youth educators and ACE trainers along with leadership and management in these sectors.
  • Developing a new strategic partnership for the third level sector and for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in post-primary education;
  • Launching an Innovation Challenge Fund to encourage fresh thinking around how we and our partners can broaden and deepen the public conversation about vital global issues;
  • Work more closely with the business community as well as the trade union sector and local government to ensure a broad engagement across society on GCE issues and challenges.

The Global Citizenship Education Strategy 2021-2025 is available on



Press Office

2 December 2021


Notes for Editors:

  • Irish Aid defines Global Citizenship Education (GCE) as a lifelong educational process, which aims to increase public awareness and understanding of the rapidly changing, inter-dependent and unequal world in which we live. GCE covers a wide range of issues  including climate change, hunger, migration,  peace and conflict, global inequality and injustice. Funding for Global Citizenship Education currently stands at €6.3m but will rise to €10m under this strategy.
  • Our work focuses on both formal education from early years to 3rd level as well as non-formal education in the adult, youth and community sectors.
  • Irish Aid works closely with educational institutions, NGOs, volunteer organisations and other Government Departments and agencies to help build a broader sense of global citizenship in Ireland, encouraging the public to engage with and learn about the issues that will define the 21st century – including climate change, hunger, peace, global inequality and injustice.

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