Last year, Poland has allocated a little over 1,4 billion PLN to development assistance for poorer countries. Is it a little, or a lot? Depends on the point of view.
– Poland is not doing enough in terms of development assistance to poorer countries. Looking at your economic potential – you could do more – believes Xavier Devictor, World Bank Manager for Poland and Baltic States.
For years, Poland has been a beneficiary of various types of support. We get billions of euros from European funds, for purposes including construction of infrastructure. Over the past two decades, the World Bank has granted us cheap loans to a total value of 12,4 billion USD. However, according to OECD, Polish development assistance to poorer countries last year has reached only 0,09% of your national income.
In total, Poland’s assistance within the framework of “official development assistance” has exceeded 1,4 billion PLN last year (data of Ministry of Foreign Affairs). This is the money used to finance projects in other countries. Our priorities are “democratization, human rights and systemic transformation”, as these are the areas in which we can share our experience of the past 25 years.
However, the clear majority of our assistance – approximately one billion PLN – is payment to EU budget and to European Development Fund. The rest of the money is assistance within the framework of international organizations, e.g. the World Bank, and Poland’s bilateral assistance to specific countries.
Wealthy countries often direct their assistance towards countries in which they have major economic and political interests. For example, Germany allocate the largest portion of assistance to China, US – to Afghanistan, Australia – to Papua-New Guinea.
According to Foreign Ministry data, bilateral assistance last year included 110 million PLN going from Poland to countries of Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine). Our assistance to Central Asia countries (mostly Afghanistan) has reached 32,7 million PLN, to Palestinian Autonomous Areas - 2,2 billion PLN, and to countries of East Africa - 7,4 billion PLN.