Federal Minister Kurz: Trend reversal in Austrian Development Cooperation

Ministerial Council prepares the ground for a doubling of the budget earmarked for the Foreign Ministry’s bilateral development cooperation activities by 2021

“This budget increase for development cooperation marks a trend reversal”, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz stressed, referring to the Budgetary Framework Act, adopted by the Ministerial Council today. In line with the decision taken by the Federal Government, the 77 million euros, currently made available to the Foreign Ministry for bilateral development cooperation will be increased by 15.5 million euros annually. This paves the way for a doubling of funds for the Foreign Ministry’s bilateral development cooperation to 154 million euros by 2021. Likewise, a fourfold increase of funds allocated to the Foreign Disaster Relief Fund, which is used to finance humanitarian assistance, from 5 million euros to 20 million euros annually, which was already adopted for 2016, will be continued in subsequent years. In the last few years alone, funding of 16.6 million euros from the Disaster Relief Fund was made available for financing of assistance to refugees in Syria and the neighbouring countries.  

“We strive to improve people’s living conditions on the ground in order to offer them perspectives in their immediate environment,” stressed Foreign Minster Kurz, who wants to use these additional funds to curb new migration flows and foster re-settlement programmes in the countries of origin in order to facilitate re-integration of refugees who have returned to their home countries.  

“The last few months have clearly shown how important development cooperation and integration are – also for us in Austria. With a view to promoting these two aspects, the necessary additional funding has now been made available”, stated Sebastian Kurz. In total, the Foreign Ministry’s budget will be increased by around 34 %. 

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