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Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) supports countries in Africa, Asia, South Eastern and Eastern Europe as well as the Carribean in their sustainable development. The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (MFA) plans ADC strategies. Austrian Development Cooperation aims at reducing poverty, conserving natural resources and promoting peace and human security in partner countries. Long-term programmes and projects support help towards self-help. The ultimate goal is to bring about a sustainable improvement in conditions of life.
The origins of Austria's official development assistance go back to private contacts and development aid activities in the 1960s. In addition to its commitments in Africa, Asia and Central America, since the 1990s Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) has also supported countries in South-Eastern Europe on their way to joining the European Union. Million people benefit from ADC worldwide. The legal framework for ADC is the Federal Act on Development Cooperation adopted in 2002 and amended in 2003. It contains a specific list of goals that stipulates development-policy criteria for the whole federal administration. The key points are the reduction of global poverty, safeguarding peace and human security and preserving the environment. It also sets out the basic principles governing programmes and projects: the right of partner countries to choose their own way of development, respect for cultural diversity, gender equality and consideration for the needs of children and persons with disabilities.
Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) forms part of Austrian foreign policy. Its strategic alignment thus falls under the purview of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (MFA). In dialogue with the partner countries and the Austrian Development Agency, the operational unit of the ADC, the Foreign Ministry frames programmes and sets out Austrian development-policy positions in the Three-Year Programme. This comprises the essentials of Austrian development policy based on international commitments and the Federal Act on Development Cooperation.
The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) is the operational unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC). It is in charge of implementing bilateral programmes and projects in ADC's partner countries and administers the budget earmarked for this. Another focus of ADAs operations is education and information in Austria to convey the issue of development cooperation to a broader public.
ODA (official development assistance) flows comprise all official Austrian development disbursements which are accredited by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). ADA´s budget constitutes small part of total ODA flows and is used to finance bilateral programmes and projects. Together with the multilateral development assistance of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs it forms the core of those budget allocations by the Austrian government that are used for priority countries and programmes of ADC. In addition other ministries, provinces and communities contribute to Austrian ODA.