Aktualizované 18.08.2022
Publikované 28.06.2022

Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid  

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The humanitarian aid provided by the Slovak Republic to Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Slovak Aid brand consisted of clothing, hygienic packages, disinfectants, power generators and respirators from the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic and the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic. (Photo: MFEA SR/Tomáš Bokor) 


Even in 2021, the issue of managing the COVID-19 pandemic and helping the most vulnerable population groups dominated development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Through several development cooperation instruments, Slovakia engaged in combating the spread of the disease and reducing its negative consequences in the world.  

Material and financial humanitarian aid in 2021 was aimed at supporting partner countries within the framework of official development assistance from the Slovak Republic (e.g., the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova, Lebanon), but also at expressing solidarity with partners within the EU (e.g., Greece, Lithuania, Romania) or supporting international initiatives and activities of international organisations. The provision of material humanitarian aid was under the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic, which provided it in partnership between the public sector and the nongovernmental and private sectors. The Foreign Ministry helped people suffering from the conflict in Ethiopia with financial support for four humanitarian projects in the Tigray region as part of the NGO campaign “Together for Ethiopia.”  

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On 22 September 2021, State Secretary Ingrid Brocková visited the Metadrasi Refugee Children’s Home in Greece. Slovakia provides humanitarian aid to Greece in order to mitigate the consequences of migration flows. (Photo: MFEA SR) 


Slovakia also actively participated in addressing the causes and consequences of the migration crisis, which is further exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. In 2021, it supported five humanitarian projects worth a total of nearly EUR 1 million in the Middle East region (Syria, Iraq and Lebanon), focusing on providing health care to affected communities of the local population, as well as ensuring access to drinking water and sanitation. Humanitarian assistance in dealing with the growing illegal migration across the Lithuanian-Belarusian border was provided by Lithuania and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the form of humanitarian material for the Lipa Migration Centre. The Slovak Republic reiterated its solidarity with Greece, which has long been facing exceptional migratory pressure. It donated a dental unit to the refugee camp on the island of Samos. In order to prevent further escalation of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan after the takeover of power by the Taliban, the Slovak Republic provided a contribution of EUR 500,000 to three international organisations operating in the country (ICRC, UNHCR, IOM).  

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On 30 April 2021, the State Secretary Ingrid Brocková received the representatives of the Peace for Tigray campaign, who presented her with an angel of peace, symbolising the awareness campaign of Slovak non-governmental organisations calling for peace in the Ethiopian Tigray Region. (Photo: MFEA SR/Tomáš Bokor) 


The Slovak Republic also joined the EU initiative aimed at supporting partner countries in the fight against the pandemic of the coronavirus under the heading of the socalled “Team Europe” through the donation of vaccines. In order to support the regional dimension of public health and to help increase the level of vaccination worldwide, in 2021, Slovakia donated 840,700 vaccine doses with a total value of over EUR 3.6 million to eight recipients (Czech Republic, Ukraine, Montenegro, Rwanda, Kenya, Vietnam, Armenia, and Taiwan). It also provided 1,512,000 doses of the vaccine to less developed countries via the COVAX mechanism. It also contributed EUR 150 thousand to the Fund of Initiatives for the Development, Production and Fair Distribution of Tests, Drugs and Vaccines against COVID-19 through the WHO.  

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To deal with the consequences of the migration crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, on 20 September 2021, material humanitarian aid for Bosnia and Herzegovina was dispatched from the Logistics Base for Crisis Situations of the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic. (Photo: MFEA SR/Tomáš Bokor) 


In 2021, Slovakia made progress in preparing its historically first ever Humanitarian Aid Strategy of the Slovak Republic. Under the Coordination Committee for Development Cooperation of the Slovak Republic, a working group was established to streamline Slovak humanitarian aid abroad and in cooperation with the non-governmental sector, the technical discussion was intensified, which resulted in a preliminary draft strategy and follow-up action plan under the aegis of the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.  

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On 21 April 2021, Minister Ivan Korčok visited the Eleonas refugee camp in the centre of Athens, accompanied by the Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi. (Photo: MFEA SR/Tomáš Bokor) 


The peer OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) recommended that Slovakia further improve its development cooperation system. In 2021, the Foreign Ministry approved three new development cooperation strategies with the program countries (Georgia, Kenya and Moldova). An external, independent and objective evaluation of the implementation of the Slovak Republic’s Mid-term Development Cooperation Strategy for 2019- 2023 was conducted. The above evaluation resulted in several recommendations for adjustments in setting up the Slovak Republic‘s development cooperation system so that it will become more effective and achieve greater impact in partner countries. The selected recommendations were reflected in the focus on the Slovak Republic‘s bilateral development cooperation for 2022, in particular the narrowing of territorial and sectoral priorities. In order to strengthen the integration of two cross-sectoral issues - environmental protection and climate change and gender equality - into development interventions in 2021, handbooks and training for the professional public were developed in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). 

In 2021, we continued through development cooperation instruments to support civil society and victims of repression in Belarus. The support included the provision of an additional twenty government scholarships in the Slovak Republic under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.  

The Ministry has also made efforts to strengthen the involvement of the private sector in development cooperation. In 2021, another call for project support through the Slovak Challenge Fund was launched within the framework of the MFEA SR in partnership with UNDP, aimed at transferring innovative Slovak ideas to support the sustainable development of partner countries. Two projects were approved focusing on the testing of water quality and building early warning systems in Moldova. In 2021, the Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation (SAIDC) supported four projects under the Enterprise Partnership Program aimed at developing telemedicine in Albania and Moldova and capacity building in IT and eGovernment in Georgia and Moldova. In 2021, co-ordination between institutions with tools for involving entrepreneurs in development cooperation (MFEA SR/SAIDC, Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, Eximbank Slovak Republic) was launched in order to increase their synergies and transparency.  

In total, in 2021, SAIDC launched 11 calls for funding for development and humanitarian projects. Out of the total number of project applications submitted, 45 were approved with a total financial volume of more than EUR 4 million.  

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The Slovak Republic delivered 440 thousand doses of vaccines against the coronavirus to two partner countries, Rwanda and Kenya. The vaccines were handed over to the partners in Kigali and in Nairobi by Ambassador Katarína Žuffa Leligdonová, 8 October 2021, Bratislava. (Photo: MFEA SR) 


In 2021, the Slovak Republic also participated actively in shaping the EU development cooperation policy (in preparation of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument — Global Europe, in preparation of the new “Post-Cotonou” Partnership Agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries, and in reforming the European Financial Architecture for Development) and international partnerships with partner countries through participation in a coordinated approach of “Team Europe” and through pro-active participation in the meetings of the development segment of the Council on Foreign Relations. The Slovak Republic expressed its readiness to engage in several activities of “Team Europe” in the EU Neighbourhood and Kenya partner countries and in the global thematic initiative “Team Europe Democracy.” An opportunity for Slovak entities to participate in EU development cooperation is also the first pilot project of the so-called delegated cooperation of the EU, which will be implemented by SAIDC in Moldova in 2022-2024. The project worth EUR 1 million is focused on the capacity building of local independent media.  

Cooperation with international donors, e.g., USAID, helped to carry out the fourth project by the Slovak Republic and the USA in 2021, this time in Georgia. It was aimed at supporting an international election observation mission during the local elections. Partnerships with the Visegrad Group countries also continued through joint projects to help countries of origin fight illegal migration and promote their sustainable development. The V4 project in Kenya managed to obtain financial resources (EUR 580 thousand) for the construction of a cashewnut and sesame factory in Kilifi, as well as a grant from the Norwegian Development Cooperation Agency (EUR 2,81 million) for follow-up activities. The V4 and Italy project to promote integrated border management and migration in Libya will continue until 2023 with a part of it already used to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in health facilities on the southern border of Libya.