In 2011, Poland contributed PLN 1.2 billion to Official Development Assistance (ODA). The lion’s share of that sum, PLN 978 million (79%), was allocated to multilateral assistance and PLN 261 (21%) to bilateral assistance. Development assistance expenditures accounted for 0.08% of Poland’s gross national income (GNI).
The largest share of Polish development assistance channelled through multilateral institutions and organizations was paid to European Union funds that finance external development assistance (PLN 934 million in 2011). The Polish contribution to the EU budget was PLN 803.2 million and accounted for 65% of all Polish ODA transfers. In 2011, Poland made its first ever payment (PLN 130.6 million) to the European Development Fund (EDF), the only EU policy instrument that is financed through a specific key that is different from the EU budget key for financing cooperation with the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP)and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). Poland transferred PLN 23.7 million to entities operating in the United Nations System.
Development assistance provided directly by Poland (bilateral assistance) in 2011, went mainly to the Eastern Partnership countries, Afghanistan, North Africa and the Middle East countries. Poland stepped up its aid to North Africa following the Arab Spring developments.
Polish aid supports these main areas: good governance, migrations and border management, rural and agricultural development, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In 2011, the main recipients of bilateral aid were: Belarus (PLN 40.6 million), Afghanistan (PLN 29.8 million), Ukraine (PLN 11.7 million), Georgia (PLN 6.8 million), Sub-Saharan African countries (PLN 4.5million), North Africa and Middle East countries (PLN 3.2million).
In 2011, Poland’s financial contribution to humanitarian relief and food aid under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) amounted PLN 12.7 million. It went to finance actions undertaken in response to emergencies (earthquake in Turkey, floods in Pakistan, conflict in Libya)as well as protracted and complex crises (in the Horn of Africa, in Afghanistan, North Korea, in the Palestinian Authority, South Sudan). Poland was also engaged in Disaster Risk Reduction, preparedness and resilience building in Myanmar / Burma, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine.
From July 2011 until July 2012, Poland and Germany co-chair the Good Humanitarian Donorship group (Principles and Good Practice of Good Humanitarian Donorship). The aim of this group is to enhance co-ordination and improve the quality of humanitarian assistance. Its priorities include promoting greater involvement of donor states in disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction.
The Presidency of the EU Council offered Poland the opportunity to shape the EU’s development agenda and to present its development and humanitarian assistance work.
Poland significantly contributed to the drafting of the European Council’s five conclusions on development cooperation, including the EU’s position presented at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Pusan, South Korea, at the end of 2011, and at the UNCTAD XIII Conference in Doha, Qatar, in April 2011. Poland initiated work on the establishment of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). On 15-16 December 2011, Warsaw hosted the sixth edition of the European Development Days (EDD) organized by the Presidency and the European Commission. For the first time this cyclical event devoted to development issues took place in Central Eastern Europe. Its theme was “Development and Democracy”.
The EU Council announced the 2011 the European Year of Volunteering. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs carried out a number of initiatives promoting volunteering and the Polish Aid Volunteering Programme. Its fourth edition co-funded 23 projects carried out by 30 volunteers working together with local communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Georgia, Cambodia and the Palestinian Autonomy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocated PLN 1.2 million to the Programme.
In 2011 PLN 1.3 million was spent on Global Education Projects aimed at raising awareness of the Polish society about the processes and global challenges in today’s world. Fifteen project were financed selected through a competition announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Minister of National Education and the Minister of Science and Higher Education. On 26 May 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Education and the Zagranica Group signed an agreement to promote the development of global education in Poland.