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Foreign Minister Paet: Estonia's capacity to provide development and humanitarian aid is growing from year to year


The government approved the Strategy for Estonian Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid 2011–2015 report for implementation in 2013 at its session today. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that within the framework of bilateral development cooperation, over the past year Estonia provided the greatest amount of support to Afghanistan, but also to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. “The largest part of our bilateral development cooperation is aimed at supporting the development of peace, respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law,” Foreign Minister Paet said.

Paet said that Estonia has contributed to providing bilateral development assistance to partner countries in areas where we have been able to most effectively share our own experience in the field of reform, as well as our experience of introducing good governance. “Partner countries have a high interest in Estonia's e-government, information technology solutions and euro-integration experience. Estonia's priority development assistance is targeted to the Eastern Partnership countries of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan,” he added.

In Foreign Minister Paet’s estimation, keeping in mind Estonia’s use of development aid resources and the more effective use of aid, it is necessary to support aid activities that are more long-term and narrower in terms of geography and scope of field. “These actions must be based on the strategy and interest of the destination country, which will help ensure the greater impact and effectiveness of our aid in specific and thematic areas,” Paet said, adding that in addition to the already completed country strategies for Moldova and Georgia, a country strategy aimed at Ukraine will be drawn up next year.

Paet noted that due to the large number of various crises worldwide, there are a growing number of people fighting for their subsistence every day. “Estonia's growing contribution to relieving global humanitarian crises is related to the increase in our rescue and humanitarian capacity. Important are both the amount of aid, as well support for the aid system already in place and the need to observe humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law,” he added. Estonia allocated 2.5 million euros for humanitarian aid in 2013.

Estonia has been engaged in development cooperation as one area of foreign policy since 1998. Estonia's development cooperation began with the desire to help countries with transition economies by sharing experiences of reform in order to cope with the development challenges ahead. Over the years, Estonia has become a donor country, who alongside other democracies is contributing to overall world stability and prosperity on an international level. Activities of the Estonian public sector in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian aid are governed by the Strategy for Estonian Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid.

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