Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) supports countries in Africa, Asia, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe as well as the Caribbean in their sustainable development. The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (MFA) plans ADC strategies and programmes, while the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) implements these together with public institutions, civil society organisations and the private sector.
Following the motto „Better together“, ADA works with partner countries’ governments, as well as civil society organisations and the private sector to reduce poverty, protect natural resources and promote peace. With 3,000 projects and approximately € 900 million over the past ten years, ADA has contributed to improve the lives of millions of people. ADC primarily operates in the following areas: water supply and sanitation, renewable energy, climate protection, agriculture, forestry, private sector and development, human security, human rights, and rule of law. Gender equality, the needs of children and people with disabilities as well as the social and cultural environment are essential aspects in all activities.
In Austria, the European Year for Development will be launched on the 26th of January with an event designed for the youth: in the centre for disaster relief of the Austrian Red Cross in Inzersdorf, young people will get the chance to pose their questions to Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica. Afterwards, students will have the opportunity to learn about and engage with a broad spectrum of development organizations whose work ranges from humanitarian assistance to sustainable development cooperation.
Additionally, many Austrian civil society organisations offer a diverse programme of educational activities, film festivals, discussions, and information events over the course of the EYD2015. Many of these programmes are co-funded by ADC under the budget line Development Communication and Education in Austria. Other stakeholders - such as ministries, federal authorities or the media - also actively participate in the EYD2015. For further information, please visit www.entwicklung.at.
Our vision on development aid in 3 questions
Why should we care about development aid?
People everywhere share the same basic needs. In developing countries, however, even essentials are often lacking. About 1.2 billion people worldwide still live in extreme poverty. Environmental destruction and conflicts do not stop at borders. Crises in distant countries affect everyone’s future. 2015 can be a chance for change towards a fairer, more inclusive and peaceful world. All of us carry this joint responsibility. Countries and organisations we work with are partners in this effort, not recipients of aid. Thus, we use the term development cooperation rather than development aid.
What is the added value of the EU as a global player?
Together, the European Commission and the EU member states are the world’s largest donor of development assistance. Joint programming and division of labour aim to increase the effectiveness of development cooperation. For Austria, the EU is an important partner: In Uganda, for instance, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) implements € 30 million on behalf of the EU. Through this programme, 650,000 people are gaining access to clean drinking water. Moldova and Serbia are other countries where projects are financed with funds from the EU and Austria and implemented by ADA.
How can each of us make a difference?
We can all contribute to making the world a little fairer: paying attention to the origin of consumer goods and sustainable conditions of production is a first step. Globalisation also has positive effects. Diverse education and exchange programmes, for example, build bridges between people in Austria, Europe, and beyond. They represent a sustainable contribution to building trust, promoting peace and democracy, and respecting human rights.