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Government Approves New Three-Year Programme for 2022-2024

AUSTRIA, November 15 - The new three-year programme will provide development-policy responses to global challenges.

The new three-year programme for Austrian development policy from 2022 to 2024 was approved today, 16 November 2022, by the Council of Ministers. The goal of the three-year programme is to open up long-term prospects for people in partner countries by creating a local environment of social and political stability, and to promote sustainable development in line with Agenda 2030. Austria’s international solidarity is also demonstrated by the fact that its thematic priorities will now more carefully consider global challenges and crises. For instance, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine shows the vulnerability of our global system:

Worldwide food insecurity and the growing number of people living in extreme poverty presented immense challenges to the international community even before 24 February. Putin’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine is now exponentially increasing this emergency. In light of the multiple global challenges, Austria is showing solidarity and providing more money than ever before to help with development cooperation and humanitarian aid,

 emphasised Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

Next year’s budget for bilateral development aid will increase by 12 million euros, to 137 million, and the budget for humanitarian aid will go up 20 million euros, to 77.5 million. The consistent increase over the last few years shows Austria’s clear commitment to solidarity through help on the ground. This aid provides financial support for existing partnerships with the Austrian Development Cooperation (OEZA). Austria’s focus here is on the poorest developing nations in sub-Saharan Africa and the surrounding region, particularly South-East Europe and the South Caucasus, but also in crisis regions and fragile states.

The three-year programme is our chance to provide help where it is most urgently needed – namely on the ground. Rapid help on the ground is also the most effective way to offer prospects to people within their home country or home region, and to create a liveable environment,

said Ambassador Peter Huber, Head of the Foreign Ministry’s Development Section, underlining the role of the OEZA.

As the most important component of Austria’s foreign policy, the OEZA’s new three-year programme reflects the priorities of the governmental programme. Its two thematic focuses are economic collaboration and migration. On the one hand, the ReFocus Austria initiative will help create new local entrepreneurial opportunities and possibilities. On the other hand, the three-year programme also introduces the concept of conditionality – if collaboration worsens in the area of migration, particularly regarding repatriation, it will now be possible to change how financial resources are allocated to partner countries.

With its new three-year programme, the Austrian government is carrying forward its previous thematic focuses, such as empowerment of women and vulnerable groups, inclusion, education, promotion of the rule of law, local support for civil society, and programmes to aid democratisation. It is also important to help people help themselves, emphasised Ambassador Friedrich Stift, Managing Director of the Austrian Development Agency:

Austria’s humanitarian aid does not just make a direct contribution to easing suffering on the ground, for instance by providing food. By supplying affected regions with seeds and our technology, for instance, we can also ensure sustainable development at the local level.

Through the new three-year programme, Austria will continue to help reduce poverty, protect natural resources, and promote peace and security for people in its partner countries.