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Slovakia foreign aid at Sk1.7 billion in 2005

SLOVAKIA's official development assistance (ODA) in 2005 came to Sk1.7 billion (€46.4 million), or 0.12 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The total was up by Sk825 million on 2004, in line with Slovakia's new responsibilities as an EU member.

Last year, Slovakia pardoned debts totaling Sk527 million for Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Albania. In addition, Slovakia's contribution to the EU budget was increased by Sk286 million. This money can also be counted as ODA.

Apart from Slovakia's contributions to international organizations, its ODA also includes Sk137 million in aid provided through the country's Migration Bureau and by the Office of Civil Protection (both under the Interior Ministry), as well as activities carried out by other Slovak ministries, the TASR news agency wrote.

In addition, Sk160 million has been set aside for the ODA National Programme for Serbia and Montenegro, and for 12 other countries.

However, Slovakia is still falling short of its EU target, according to which new member states should increase their ODA to 0.17 percent of GDP by 2010, and to 0.33 percent by 2015.

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