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About the Author

Robert Stefanicki
Journalist (Warsaw, Poland)

Old salt international affairs writer. At present freelance (looking for a job!), most of his professional life worked for the largest daily in Poland. Focused on Asia and Middle East, where witnessed some dirty wars, now more and more interested in development and other global issues. In collusion with Institute of Global Responsibility, our new and fast growing NGO. Self made photographer (see my website), scuba diver, sailor, cyclist and movie addict.

Post

Polish government sharply cuts aid to Africa

Published 30th March 2010 - 5 comments - 3353 views -

For Africa, two news. Good one: according to opinion polls from December 2009, 83% of Poles agree that the government should deliver development aid and 49% believe that Poland should provide assistance primarily to African countries. Bad one: there is no Polish government among them. This year project aid to Africa was cut almost by half and the overall amount of funds for NGO projects decreased significantly.

 

NGO project aid to Africa fell from 6.17 million zloty (1.75 million euro) in 2008 to mere 1.26 million zloty (0.31 million euro) in 2010. In result, the funds for NGO projects in Africa available from the Polish MFA in 2010 are only 20% of what was available in 2008. These figures do not include Angola which is one of priority countries of Polish aid and has therefore a separate budget envelope. However, in 2010, Polish MFA did not fund any project of Polish NGOs in Angola.

This is in tune with the overall budget for NGO projects, that decreased by approx. 20% between 2009 and 2010, a second year in a row. This was not even for all partner countries. NGO project aid for Belarus and Ukraine decreased slightly, while budget available for Georgia even increased.

You will find more on the website of Institute of Global Responsibility, which also warns that "the dramatic cut for NGO projects has a major and negative influence on the ability of the Polish government to meet it's commitments in regard to Sub-Saharan Africa and implementation of the Millennium Development Goals".

In my opinion the government can feel safe. Support of the public opinion, though noble, is declarative and theoretical – when comes to hard spending, no one here is going to die for far far away Africa. So the only efficient pressure on the government might come from EU structures. In 2005 Polish government, along with other EU members, promised to increase ODA. In line with this commitment in 2010 Poland should spend on this goal 0.17 % GDP. Last year it was just 0.08 %. One of the worst result in Europe.

 


Category: Aid | Tags: africa, oda, mdg, poland,


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