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Financing, Planning and Management of Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid


According to a commitment assumed back when it joined the European Union, Bulgaria, as well as the other new Member States, should strive to reach till 2030 a target of 0.33% of GNI for ODA allocations. The EU’s common position on development financing was reiterated in the 26 May 2015 Council conclusions, by which the EU reaffirmed its collective commitment to achieve the 0.7% ODA/GNI target within the time frame of the post-2015 agenda, with Member States which joined the EU after 2002 striving to increase their ODA/GNI to 0.33%.

Despite the effect of the 2008-2009 global economic crisis and the tendency of certain donor countries to decrease the amount of their official development aid disbursements, in the 2016-2019 period Bulgaria maintained a steady level of development aid allocations amounting to 0.11% of GNI. The share of bilateral assistance also showed an increasingly upward trend during that period.

Untapped reserves for increasing the share of ODA can be found mainly in bilateral development aid. At present, bilateral project financing covers just 4.48% of Bulgaria’s ODA, including through the budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is insufficient for achieving the purposes of development-cooperation policy as part of our foreign policy.

The allocations for development aid and humanitarian aid are planned and disbursed on the basis of a verifiable justification in accordance with the international standards for good governance and effectiveness, set out in the 2005 Paris Declaration for Aid Effectiveness, the 2011 Busan Declaration, the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, and the related international understandings.

Development aid allocations are planned on the basis of contributions due to the EU development aid instruments and funds, to the principal budgets of international organisations and financial institutions acting for the achievement of the objectives of development aid, to conventions whose technical functions include provision of development aid, as well as on the basis of planned bilateral development aid, taking account with our country’s commitment to achieve the levels of development aid allocations set by the EU. The necessary funds will be provided from the budget for the respective year of the ministries/agencies engaged in the implementation of the activities under the Mid-Term Programme for Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid of the Republic of Bulgaria for the period 2020-2024, and no additional costs / transfers / other payments from the state budget will be required.

A systematic increase in the share of bilateral assistance is sought in arriving at the total amount of ODA. Humanitarian aid allocations are planned as a percentage of the allocations for bilateral development aid, and they will continue to account for some 20% of the ODA budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Development financing is managed according to the rules of procedure of the International Development Cooperation Council, chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Considering the specific nature of ODA provision and management activities, further work is needed for increasing the administrative capacity of specialised staff in accordance with OECD requirements, the training of qualified employees in project management and public procurement procedures.

Performance could be improved and the procedures for soliciting and selecting project proposals could be optimised, along with a more effective and focused delivery of Bulgarian ODA, by strengthening the administrative capacity and, namely, by establishing a separate directorate for management of development aid at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The directorate will be responsible for the selection and management of development programmes and projects and will carry out technical support, monitoring and reporting activities.

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