Poland belongs to the group of new 'donors' in development cooperation. Some years ago it was still benefiting from external aid programmes. Now it contributes 2,5% to the European Development Fund, the largest amount among the new Member States and even more than established donors like Finland, Austria or Ireland.
The recently published 2007 Aid Report by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows further progress on Poland's way to become a significant donor in international cooperation. In 2007, 0,09% of the GDP was spent on ODA, an increase of 9% compared to the previous year. Additionally USD 1.57 million were allotted to humanitarian aid and USD 1.08 million spend for food aid.
Polish aid is channeled multilaterally or bilaterally to developing countries and those under social and economic transformation. In line with the international development discourse, the report states that the Polish government is committed to concentrate on few target countries and a few sectors. Priority countries are Afghanistan, Angola, Georgia, Iraq, Moldova, the Palestine Authorities, Belarus, Ukraine, and Tanzania. However bilateral aid projects in 2007 were conducted in more than 90 countries.
53% of Polish Aid is channeled to multilateral organizations. Bilateral aid is provided through projects, financial aid (in 2007 preferential credits went to China, Montenegro, Uzbekistan and Nicaragua) and scholarships (mainly to Belarus).
According to the authors, the awareness and support among Polish citizens regarding the country's development cooperation is increasing. Considerable amounts were spent on development education projects and promotional activities. Furthermore the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs commenced preparations to launch a Polish Aid Volunteering Program to give Polish volunteers wider opportunities to work in developing countries.
See the Euforic newsfeed and dossier on Polish Development Cooperation