Aid agencies have called for urgent action to address Ireland's continuing failure to meet targets on overseas aid. 

Figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reveal that the Government spent just 0.38% of gross national income - or just over half the UN target  - on development aid in 2014.

In 1970, the world's richest nations agreed to a United Nations resolution to spend 0.7% of their Gross National Income on international aid. But it is a target few countries have been able to meet.

In 2013, only five states reached or exceeded the target.

The UK met it for the first time in 2014 and has since introduced legislation that enshrines that commitment in law.

Through Irish Aid, the Government distributed €600 million worth of humanitarian relief last year. 

It says it is committed to reaching the target of 0.7%, despite consistently falling short since signing up to the UN resolution fifteen years ago. 

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said it had protected the aid budget as much as possible in difficult economic circumstances.