In 2013, Poland contributed PLN 1.478 billion to Official Development Assistance (ODA), including PLN 1.091 billion spent in the frame of multilateral cooperation. PLN 386.62 million was allocated to bilateral assistance. Development assistance expenditures accounted for 0.1% of Poland’s gross national income (GNI).
The largest share of Polish development assistance channeled through multilateral institutions and organizations was paid to the European Union funds that finance external development assistance. In 2013, Polish share in those activities accounted for PLN 1.018 billion. It consisted of a part of a contribution to the EU budget, which was allocated to that aim (PLN 857 mln) and payment (PLN 160 mln) to the European Development Fund (EDF) which is the main EU policy instrument different from the EU budget key for financing cooperation with the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).
Poland transferred PLN 50 million to entities operating in the United Nations System.
Development assistance provided directly by Poland (bilateral assistance) in 2013 went mainly to the Eastern Partnership countries, Central Asia, Afghanistan, East Africa and Palestinian National Authority.
Since 2012, development cooperation has been conducted on the basis of the 2012-2015 Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme. According to the Programme, Polish development cooperation is implemented in the frame of geographical and thematic support areas.
Geographical areas has been divided into two groups.The first group includes six Eastern Partnership Countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. In this case, the aim of Polish assistance is to support democratic transformation and human rights.
The second group includes selected countries from Eastern Africa, Northern Africa, Middle East and Asia. There are eight East African countries (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda), two North African countries (Libya and Tunisia) as well as the Palestinian National Authority, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. These countries are characterized by high poverty level.
Since introduction of multiannual planning framework, Polish development assistance has been focused on two areas of support, namely democracy and human rights and systemic transition.
In 2013, Solidarity Fund PL carried out a programme “Democracy Support”, financed in the framework of Polish development cooperation in Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thanks to the programme, support went to the projects of Polish non-governmental organizations, which undertake initiatives, together with local partners, towards supporting prodemoctratic changes in countries that are going through system transformation.
On 9 January 2013 in Brussels first session of European Endowment for Democracy (EED) took place, under the leadership of The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. The position of the Executive Director was given to then undersecretary of state in Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jerzy Pomianowski. EED is involved in supporting the democratization processes, and accepting proposals on-line has been launched in mid-August. During few months approximately 400 proposals were received. Poland allocated PLN 5 mln to the Endowment.
In 2013, Poland has joined Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Membership in DAC is a confirmation for Poland, of fulfilling the conditions regarding the amount of development assistance given and assuring proper legal framework to the system of development assistance. Membership also gives the possibility of participating in a debate about defining development cooperation, which is held in the group of biggest donors of this aid.
On 20 November 2013 amendment to the act on development cooperation was implemented. It broadens the definition of development assistance, adding to the circle of recipients of Polish development assistance countries from the list created by DAC (which are called in the act: developing countries) and changes the name of Foundation which implements tasks resulting from the act.
In 2013, the main recipients of the Polish bilateral assistance were: Belarus (PLN 63.39 mln), Ukraine (PLN 48,22 mln), Afghanistan (PLN 11,08 mln), Georgia (PLN 10,56 mln), Moldova (PLN 7,23 mln).
Poland’s financial contribution to humanitarian relief and food aid under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) amounted PLN 15.74 mln in 2013. Almost 60% of the Polish contribution to ODA were spent to help Syrian crisis victims. Till the end of 2013, as a result of armed conflict which began in March 2011, 2.2 mln Syrians had to leave the country and sought refuge in neighboring countries (Jordan, Libya and Turkey). 6.5 million internal refugees (people who were forced to leave their homes within their own country), should be added to that number. Poland helped Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon through domestic non-governmental organizations: Caritas Poland and Polish Center for International Aid, as well as through support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and United Nations Children’s Fund projects.
Education is an important aspect of Polish development assistance. In 2013, PLN 94.48 mln was spent on education, including scholarships. In December 2013, the Stefan Banach Scholarship Programme was started within the scope of supporting students from Eastern Partnership Countries. Programme’s purpose is to prepare leaders of changes in EP countries and is addressed to the students, who graduated first level studies with good results. The lack of access to primary and vocational education is especially visible in Eastern Africa. Polish non-governmental organizations implemented projects aiming to even educational chances, activating teachers and using modern methods of conveying knowledge in the teaching process.
Similarly, an important task is to raise awareness of the Polish society about the processes and challenges in today’s world. Projects in this field are implemented in Poland. In 2013, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Minister of National Education and the Minister of Science and Higher Education, announced a competition “Global Education 2013”, in which 14 projects received financing which amounted to a total of over PLN 2 mln.
 Poland pays one contribution to the EU budget, without separating individual programmes, funds or instruments. Polish share in the EU official development assistance is calculated in a following way: if one knows the size of the EU budget and the size of Poland’s contribution, one can calculate what percentage of the budget is constituted by Polish contribution. Assuming that Polish share in the UE official development assistance is the same as in the total EU budget, it can be calculated on the basis of data related to the EU budget’s execution. Final data regarding the execution of the budget is updated as successive European Commission’s reports arrive, therefore it may be significantly changed. The final data concerning the execution of the EU budget in 2012 indicates that Polish share in EU expenditures on official development assistance amounted PLN 780 mln.
 The amount of the Member States’ payments to the European Development Fund is determined every time by the European Commission on the basis of estimation of financial needs related to activities to be implemented in a given Fund’s edition. Unspent funds from a given edition are not returned to the payers, but accounted for the next Fund’s edition.