Focus of Estonian development and humanitarian aid shifts, budget remains the same (1)
The amount of Estonian development aid decreased significantly in 2015. The destination countries shifted from mainly Africa to the Middle East.
In 2014 Estonia's development aid for the least developed countries amounted to €2.31m, of which €1.76m were allocated to the same purpose in 2015, numbers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed.
Aid to countries in Africa was €960,000 in 2014 and €440,000 in 2015. Sub-Saharan African countries received €830,000 in 2014 and €260,000 last year.
Maria Belovas, spokesperson for the ministry, told the Baltic News Service on Wednesday that the Ebola outbreak of 2014 had required immediate help in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, but that by 2015 the high point of the crisis had been over, and money was shifted to another destination.
Estonia's priority partner in development cooperation is Afghanistan, to which it provided aid worth €1.16 million last year.
The amount of money spent by Estonia on humanitarian aid grew from €2.71m in 2014 to €3.31m last year.
"In 2015 the situation in Syria and the migration crisis aggravated, which is why more assets than earlier had to be directed to the countries of the Middle East region,” Belovas said. She added that a substantial part of Estonian humanitarian aid still went to Ukraine, and that in 2015, Estonia had supported Ukraine with €1.05m.
The budget of the Foreign Ministry for development cooperation and humanitarian aid on the whole remained more or less the same over the last three years.
The total value of development aid provided by Estonia in 2015 increased by €3.53m, figures of the Foreign Ministry showed. Where in 2014 different Estonian authorities disbursed €26.3m or 0.14% of gross national income (GNI), the total sum for 2015 was €29.8m, equaling 0.15% of GNI.