Slovakia spent more than €64.8 million on official development assistance (ODA) last year, which is an increase of almost €4 million compared to 2012, according to a report on Official Development Assistance for 2013 that was acknowledged by the government on May 7.
Despite the increase in ODA, Slovakia has in the long term fallen short of the goals to which it committed itself on joining the EU. According to the original commitments, the share of ODA should have amounted to 0.17 percent of gross national income (GNI) by 2010 and 0.33 percent of GNI by 2015. Last year, however, ODA stood at only 0.092 percent of GNI. The Slovak Foreign Ministry informed, as quoted by the TASR newswire, that the other new EU-member states apart from Malta are also in the same situation. Next year, Slovakia’s ODA should reach 0.1 percent of GNI for the first time.
Of last year’s amount allocated to ODA, €12.16 million went into bilateral aid and €52.7 million into multilateral assistance in the form of mandatory and voluntary contributions to international organisations and international financial institutions. The largest amount of funding went to Afghanistan (€1.8 million) which is among the group of least-developed countries (LDCs). It was followed by Kenya (€1.2 million) and Serbia, especially due to the high volume of government-provided scholarships (€1.1 million).
The report further reads that last year the ministry saw increased interest in the programme for sending volunteers to developing countries. This resulted in more than tripling of the programme's budget compared to 2012 when it was first launched. In total, 24 volunteers travelled to 13 countries (Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Georgia, South Sudan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Rwanda, Uganda and Vietnam) in 2013, at a cost of just under €115,000.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.