Austria’s development agency has averted cuts in its budget for 2013, with more than €110 million ($143 million) available for development cooperation this year.
The Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs has allocated €68.23 million for the agency’s bilateral programs and projects in partner countries and territories, such as Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova, Mozambique and Uganda.
Funding for projects by Austrian nongovernmental organizations operating in developing countries amounted to €13 million. A total of €4 million, meanwhile, is available for Austrian NGOs promoting development awareness at home.
Other funds available for 2013 that come from so-called “third party funds” include €8 million from the European Recovery Fund and €7.5 million for projects relating to climate change from the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.
“The Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs did not increase the budget allocated for ADA for 2013, but did not execute budget cuts originally planned for 2013,” a spokesperson for the agency told Devex via email.
Priority areas include the promotion of human rights, rule of law and human security, which forms part of the principles of the Austrian development cooperation. Others are private sector development for economic growth; capacity building of institutions and civil society; climate protection, agriculture and forestry; and conflict prevention and peace building.
ADA’s budget is only about 10 percent of the country’s total official development assistance, according to Aid Watch, which comprises European aid experts monitoring EU countries’ progress on their aid commitments. It has recommended that Austria develop a “coherent” development strategy and enshrine into law the budget for development cooperation.
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