Development Policy in Austria: Focus on Combating the Consequences of Pandemics and Poverty

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: August 11, 2022; 16:06 ♦ (Vindobona)

Recently, the Foreign Minister presented an updated version of the goals of Austria's development policy to the Austrian Parliament. If you want to know which goals Austria is aiming for and what this year's focus will be, read on.

The adjustments to the development policy were presented in parliament. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Gryffindor, CC BY-SA 3.0 (

Every three years, the Foreign Ministry in Austria presents the new programme of future development policy. This development programme sets out the principles, objectives and priorities that the State of Austria envisages in the near future in terms of development aid. The current programme is entitled "Together. For our world."

Now the Foreign Minister presented an updated version of the goals to the Austrian Parliament. New features include a discussion of the fight against the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the provision of up-to-date figures on Austria's performance in the field of humanitarian aid and development cooperation.

The report states that the consequences and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are particularly hard on people in developing countries and are especially harsh in fragile states and for vulnerable population groups, such as women and children, and in some cases represent a test of survival.

Austria therefore focused on its partner countries within the framework of the "Team Europe" initiatives in crisis management and increasingly supported humanitarian aid and development cooperation measures on the ground.

The sustainable reduction of poverty is the most important focus of the Three-Year Programme and will be more strongly focussed on by the pandemic. According to the report, in 2020, among other things, 226,996 people in South Eastern Europe were given access to quality-assured education and 44,620 people were given a certified vocational training qualification.

Drinking water was secured for 507,000 people and sanitation for 589,349.

Strengthening the economy is another goal of the three-year programme. Here, several digitalisation projects, especially in agriculture, could be launched in the partner countries in 2020. In addition, there was financial support for 226,344 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in 2019.

As climate change threatens to undo development achievements, measures to strengthen the economy and society against extreme weather events and the changing climate are being promoted as a precautionary measure.

For this reason, € 37.48 million went to the development of clean and renewable energies and € 31.45 million to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems.

In addition to the promotion of security, rule of law, democratization and development, a new humanitarian assistance strategy is being developed in order to counter radicalisation, extremism, and terrorism.

A major focus of Austria's development cooperation is also on empowering women, specifically by providing protection against violence, education and legal equality to women and promoting women's participation in peace processes.

A total of € 81.3 million in loans was provided for the economic empowerment of women in South Eastern Europe, while 3,131 people were provided with quality-assured education.

Austrian Parliament

BMEIA Federal Ministry for Europe Integration and Foreign Affairs