CONCORD, the European Confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, this week published the annual report AidWatch 2020, which shows Estonia is the greatest financial development aid donor in the Baltics.
At the same time, Estonia is only halfway to its goal of increasing resources for development cooperation to 0.33 percent of the state budget. Although development aid funding has fallen from 0.16 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 0.15 percent over the year, this is due to an increase in GDP, as resources for development cooperation have risen by €1.25 million, according to the report.
The head of the Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation, Agne Kuimet, said it is important that during the current crisis, the government has continued its development cooperation on the same basis and in the same amounts as planned.
"A survey commissioned by the Roundtable for Development Cooperation at the beginning of the summer shows that 85 percent of Estonians would be willing to contribute to development cooperation themselves and that this is an important issue for them. They are particularly interested in developing healthcare, education and environmental issues. This is also a strong signal to the government that increasing funding for development cooperation is important and widely supported by voters," Kuimet said.
Estonia's main development aid partners are Eastern Partnership countries Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Afghanistan. In addition, loan assistance to Somalia, for example, was added in 2020.
In the given situation, it is important to continue working to ensure that Estonia reaches its target of increasing funding for development cooperation to 0.33 percent of gross national income (GNI) by 2030, this in cooperation with local civil society organizations, which have a key role to play in ensuring that funding goes to the right place.
The European Union, together with its member states, is the world's largest donor of development cooperation, and in 2019 a total of €78 billion was invested in development cooperation, or 0.46 percent of the EU's total GDP. Compared to 2018, the EU's development aid increased by €6.1 billion. Nevertheless, 2020 is the first year of this century when global poverty has risen.
The European Union's goal is to reach a level of 0.7 percent of the union's GNI by 2030, but if current trends continue, it will not be achieved until 2070.
The Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation brings together 34 Estonian NGOs, all of which are involved in making the world a better place, be it by way of development cooperation, nature conservation, human rights or global education.
Editor: Helen Wright