Total aid in 2011: €35m
About Bulgaria's aid commitments:
Main changes in 2011
In the second half of 2011the government adopted a legal framework for Bulgarian international development cooperation, which was one of the key recommendations of the Bulgarian Platform for International Development (BPID). This act outlines the goals, structure and main procedures for active participation in development. As such the document traces further opportunities for collaboration with CSOs.
In 2011, Bulgarian ODA slightly increased from € 31 million in 2010 to € 35 million in 2011. However this increase did not make any change in the relative level of ODA against GNI, which remains at 0.09%.
System of development cooperation
The key ministry for the setting and implementation of development policies is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). The MFA chairs the Council for international development which is an inter-ministerial body. This Council approves the priorities and mid-term programs in development cooperation as well as evaluation of the undertaken actions. The MFA is supported in its activities by the working group “Development policies” and the members are part of the Council for International Development as well as other relevant structures.
The mid-term programs for Bulgarian development cooperation are key documents. They define the overall objectives of the policy, concrete areas and sectors for interventions, geographical distribution and quantity of the aid. In the elaboration of the mid-term programs is foreseen partnership with CSOs. Recipient countries and sectors of bilateral aid The Bulgarian ODA is implemented on an ad-hoc basis. However there is list of priority countries that includes Armenia, Georgia, Serbia, Kosovo, Moldova and Macedonia. There are indications that in 2012 the list will be changed.
Main challenges in 2012 and beyond
The main challenge for Bulgarian ODA is the financial restrictions due to economic crisis which results in high proportion of tied aid. Among other challenges is the insufficient involvement of CSOs in decision making process and the lack of sufficient public support for development.
Bulgarian NGOs call on their government to:
Clearly identify thematic areas and geographical locations for Bulgarian ODA based on the needs of the recipient countries
Elaboration of mid-term program with the engagement of the CSOs
Faster development of relevant units/staff within MFA with clear responsibilities
Increasing transparency of ODA