“Polish aid amounts to 250 projects annually carried out on all continents,” said Minister Radosław Sikorski presenting, with Deputy Minister Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, the 2012 Polish Development Cooperation report on 3 October. Poland’s development assistance priorities are: human rights, sharing of democratisation and systemic transformation experiences.
Minister Sikorski said that Poland had allocated just under PLN 1.5 billion to official development assistance, up by 15% on 2011. Development projects are carried out by the MFA, Polish government agencies, diplomatic missions, NGOs and volunteers. “In 2012, Poland was one of the few European Union Member States that managed to increase funding for development assistance,” noted Minister Sikorski.
Seventy-five percent of Poland’s assistance is carried out through the European Union and specialised UN agencies. The remaining 25 percent is provided in bilateral assistance that in 2012 was addressed mainly to the Eastern Partnership countries. “The Belarus society is a special partner for Poland. Last year it received over 50 percent of funds earmarked for the Eastern Partnership counties,” underlined Deputy Minister Pełczyńska-Nałęcz.
As noted by Minister Sikorski on Thursday, the role of humanitarian aid provided by Poland has also increased. “We are providing aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan where the most tragic humanitarian crisis is unfolding,” underscored the minister. He also recalled the important role played by the European Endowment for Democracy that was established this year to promote democratisation, systemic transformation and respect for human rights.
As noted by Deputy Minister Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, the Development Cooperation Act that entered into force on 1 January 2012, the newly-established Programme Council for Development Cooperation as well as the “Multi-annual Programme for Development Cooperation for 2012-15” allowed to increase not only the quantity of Poland’s assistance, but also its quality.