The 2016-2020 Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme presents Poland’s action strategy towards developing countries. It was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 6 October 2015 and modified on 4 September 2018. The document covers Poland’s entire Official Development Assistance (ODA), including bilateral development assistance, humanitarian aid and global education initiatives. Its main goal is to further enhance the impact and efficiency of development cooperation.
The most significant change in the Programme’s modified version is the addition of Lebanon and Uganda to the list of priority countries for Polish development aid. Poland has been providing humanitarian aid to Lebanon for many years. Now that Lebanon is on the list of our priority countries, we will be able to carry out development projects par excellence that will complement our humanitarian efforts which will receive a boost from the effect of synergy. Uganda, which was a priority country in the 2012-2015 period, is struggling with a big influx of refugees from the neighbouring South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Poland will engage in activities undertaken by the international community in Uganda to address the country’s current needs.
Migration issues were added to the document in a new cross-sectional approach. This means that migration issues, which represent some of the greatest challenges, will be taken into account at every stage of planning and implementation of Polish development cooperation projects.
The Programme also takes into account a second priority area, created in 2016, with respect to Policy Coherence for Development i.e. “Dissemination and implementation of corporate social responsibility standards.” Both the EU and the OECD require that the principles of Policy Coherence for Development be observed. In Poland, the principle of coherence is implemented in two priority areas: the one mentioned above and in “Fighting illicit financial flows, including combating tax evasion and money laundering.”
The other modifications stem from Poland’s international commitments or were introduced for the sake of better order. For instance, the modified version of the document contains Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which have replaced Millennium Development Goals following the adoption by the UN at its summit in New York in September 2015 of a new global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes the SDGs.