The plan "has been drawn up as a blueprint for implementing Latvia’s priorities in development cooperation" and sets out measures covering 2016–2020 the ministry said in a statement.
“In 2018, we have used the comparatively moderate amount of the allocated development cooperation funding to the maximum benefit. We have carried out 21 development cooperation projects, which have attracted foreign co-financing that is more than double of the Foreign Ministry’s bilateral development cooperation budget,” said Kalniņa-Lukaševica.
Currently, the Foreign Ministry’s planned funding for bilateral development cooperation in 2019 is 463,813, exactly the same amount as in 2017 and 2018. Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica said that the draft plan was a compromise combining long-term strategic priorities and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue working to attract additional funding from other sources.
The draft plan envisages the allocation of almost half of bilateral development cooperation funding, or EUR 213 013, to grant project competitions in support of the Eastern Partnership and Central Asian countries.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also continue supporting the transfer of Latvia’s expertise to partner countries through small-scale projects and those funded by other international donors, for instance, the United Nations Development Program. In 2019 too, following the criteria set out in the Guidelines, funding will be granted to projects that have secured at least 50 % of co-financing from other donors," the ministry said.
The plan will now be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration and approval.
In line with the Development Cooperation Policy Guidelines for 2016–2020, priority areas for Latvia’s development cooperation are the development and capacity building of public administration, business development and strengthening of export capacity, governance and reform of national security structures, facilitation of democratic participation, and the development and education of civil society.