On 29 September 2012, the University of Warsaw Library hosted the Fifth Polish Development Cooperation Forum showcasing Poland’s aid to developing countries. The aim of this annual MFA event was to familiarize the public with Poland’s efforts to help developing countries and meet global development challenges.
The Forum is addressed to people who are professionally involved in development cooperation and to the general public. This year’s edition was hosted by MFA Undersecretary of State Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, who has presented the MFA’s 2011 Annual Report on Poland’s Development Cooperation.
The event provided a forum for a public debate about the existing and future Polish assistance to less developed countries and countries in democratic transition. What can Poland offer other countries? How should we encourage democratic changes and reforms in countries undergoing political transformation? What needs to be improved in Poland’s development cooperation system? Why should Polish companies become involved in development assistance and how can they do it? To discuss these issues, the MFA has invited Polish experts and representatives of Moldova and Tunisia, i.e. countries receiving Polish support.
In addition, the Forum also featured a number of educational events for children, youth and adults. Documentaries screened during the event depicted the life in Kenyan slums, a Georgian village, a Palestinian town and a Venezuelan favela, and how they changed thanks to development aid. Polish aid volunteers discussed their experiences from schools and health care centres in Bolivia, Ghana, Malawi and Tanzania, and shared some tips on how to prepare for volunteer work in developing countries. Visitors had also a chance to listen to radio reports about development projects which have been co-financed by the MFA and implemented in Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Latin America (originally broadcast by the Polish Radio and Radio Tok FM).