Ministries & OeEB
The Federal Ministry of Defence makes its contribution to Austrian Development Cooperation in keeping with the principle of coherence, as affirmed in the Federal Development Cooperation Act. Here, it focuses on conflict prevention, crisis management, peacebuilding and state building. As a member of the European Union and diverse international organisations, such as the United Nations, Austria also seeks to make its contribution to international commitments. Since 1960, more than 100,000 Austrian soldiers and civilian helpers have taken part in over 120 international peace support and humanitarian missions. Added to this are many bilateral and multilateral collaborations for capacity development in and with partner countries. Federal Ministry of Defence's aim is to make a sustainable contribution to security and development in neighbouring regions, where the Austrian Armed Forces operate as a major, reliable partner, as well as in humanitarian disaster relief missions.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism is engaged at both national and international level in sustainable agriculture, forestry and water management. With information and awareness measures, it communicates these issues to the public. As part of a sustainable and environment-friendly agricultural and food policy, Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism advocates fair production conditions and sustainable water resource use and seeks to improve food security in Austria and combat hunger throughout the world. In addition, it supports many sustainable projects in developing countries.
The Federal Ministry of the Interior is responsible for asylum issues at national level. Besides providing support to refugees in Austria as part of an agreement between the government and the federal states under Article 15a of the Constitution, another of its tasks is the administration and allocation of funds from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). With finance from this EU Fund, it can support projects for asylum seekers in Austria (e.g. psychological support or legal advice) or integration projects for third-country nationals with protected or non-refugee status (e.g. language courses or courses on values). As the delegated authority, the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs is the Federal Ministry of the Interior's partner with responsibility for administering integration projects. A major focus of the measures under AMIF are projects to provide advice on opportunities for voluntary return and also for reintegration that help returnees to certain home countries to start a new, self-reliant life. In implementing reintegration measures, Austria, represented by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, is also a partner in the action programme, European Reintegration Network (ERIN), an association of several EU member states jointly engaged in carrying out reintegration projects in countries of origin.
The Federal Ministry of Finance (MoF) represents Austrian development and foreign economic interests in international financial institutions (IFIs) (e.g. World Bank Group, African Development Bank Group, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank) and other development institutions (e.g. International Fund for Agricultural Development, Global Environment Facility). The strategic guidelines of the Federal Ministry of Finance for international financial institutions form the basis for the cooperation with these institutions. These guidelines also conform to the Austrian Development Co-operation Act and are aligned with the three-year program of Austrian development policy.
The MoF cooperates with IFIs in a multi-pronged way: Austria is a shareholder of the capital stock of IFIs. Moreover, Austria contributes to Special Funds (soft windows) and Trust Funds covering programmatic priority themes. The overarching aim in the cooperation with IFIs is the achievement of positive development effects in developing countries.
Furthermore, the MoF is a co-founder, trustor and guarantor for the activities of the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB). The MoF also contributes to the development cooperation of the European Union (EU) within the framework of the European Development Fund (EDF). In addition, soft loans and internationally agreed debt relief measures as part of export loans under the Paris Club fall under the purview of the MoF, if these are eligible as official development assistance (ODA).
The Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) is committed in implementing the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the fields of education, science and research in Austria.
SDG 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all) is dedicated to education specifically, however, education is essential for attaining all 17 Sustainability Development Goals.
Austria is engaged with partner countries in educational collaborations where education and training play a key role for sustainable development, poverty reduction and social cohesion. Austria's education policy can also advance its economic interests and harness synergies via its schools abroad.
Teaching principles and educational issues, such as Environmental Education for Sustainable Development, Citizenship Education, Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education, etc. have also established sustainable development as a topic in everyday lessons for pupils: In a transformative educational approach, they acquire the necessary knowledge and learn suitable skills for sustainable development.
In higher education, the BMBWF has embedded the implementation of Agenda 2030 strategically in its Austrian National Development Plan for Public Universities 2019 – 2024 (GUEP) and SDGs are part of the Performance Agreements 2019-2021 between the universities and the BMBWF. The implementation of SDGs is supported by the project “UniNEtZ – Universities and Sustainable Development Goals.”
In accordance with the Federal RTD strategy, which among others addresses the grand challenges climate change and scarcity of resources, the BMBWF supports various university cooperation dealing with climate and sustainability research. Examples include the participation in JPI CLIMATE, the initiative "International Programs Earth System Sciences", managed by the ÖAW, supporting the Climate Change Center Austria as well as the development of the bio-economy strategy.
Research for Development
On behalf of Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the Commission for Development Research (KEF) at OeAD-GmbH makes a major contribution to furthering development research in Austria. Besides assisting research partnerships and problem-solving research projects between researchers from Austria and partners in developing countries, its key tasks also include advisory, informational and public relations work.
Since 2013, the Austrian Prize for Development Research has been awarded every other year by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research in cooperation with KEF.
Further information and current projects are available on the web pages of the Commission for Development Research.
Premised on the conviction that sustainable economic development is the cornerstone for growth and prosperity for all and is therefore the most effective way to reduce poverty, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs places the main thematic focus in its development cooperation measures on 'private sector and development'.
The Austrian Foreign Trade Strategy identifies sustainable and fair economic partnerships between Austrian companies and locals partners as an essential goal for a successful foreign trade policy - to the benefit of both developing countries and Austrian businesses.
Austria has committed itself to implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Foreign Trade Strategy acknowledges to make best use for economic growth of the SDGs, the global trend for sustainability and the innovation potential of sustainable development.
Activities of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs aim at improving the enabling environment for private-sector engagement in partner countries and facilitating more information exchange and closer cooperation between development cooperation and Austrian business and industry. Aid for trade helps developing countries to participate and be included in the world trade system.
Development Bank of Austria (OeEB) was founded in March 2008 as the development bank of the Republic of Austria and is a 100% subsidiary of Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG (Austria's Export Credit Agency - OeKB). Mandated by the Austrian government, OeEB finances private investments in developing countries and emerging markets that are economically sustainable and have positive impacts on development.
OeEB provides long-term loans and equity capital at near-market conditions with a focus on projects in the fields of renewable energy, financial inclusion/micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) as well as infrastructure.
With special financial resources ("Business Advisory Services"), OeEB supports measures that enhance the developmental impact of its projects. These resources are used primarily to prepare and accompany OeEB's equity participations and loans, e.g. on-site work by local experts, studies or trainings for local customers.
OeEB complements the Austrian Development Cooperation services of the Foreign Ministry and ADA and is a member of the Association of bilateral European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI).