Within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the International Development Cooperation Department (Hellenic Aid) is responsible for the implementation of development assistance. Hellenic Aid guides the country’s development cooperation, humanitarian aid, and Greek participation in the OECD. It is mainly responsible for the supervision, coordination, monitoring and promotion of emergency humanitarian and food aid actions, as well as aid for the reorganisation and restoration of the infrastructures of developing countries conducted by ministries, universities or NGOs.
Hellenic Aid is subdivided on the basis of special competence into six directorates. The Rehabilitation and Development Directorate (Hellenic Aid-2) is competent for the coordination and control of all phases of development programmes submitted by an implementing institution, aiming at sector-by-sector development and reconstruction of developing countries. Hellenic Aid-2 evaluates compliance of the submitted programmes/actions set by annual calls for proposals of Hellenic Aid. Moreover, it supports and coordinates NGOs in the implementation of development programmes.
Greek aid activities in developing countries are centred on six specific objectives:
- Combating starvation and poverty
- Steady and sustainable economic and social growth, and the integration of developing countries into the world economy
- Promotion of peace and growth
- Enhancement of democratic principles
- The rule of law and the functioning of societies where human rights are respected
- Mobilisation and development of human resources, particularly the equitable participation of men and women
- Protection of the environment and natural resources.
In South-East Europe, Greece’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) aims to increase prosperity and reduce poverty for all local people. Establishing peace, stability and sustainable growth are essential to achieve these objectives. Hellenic Aid’s development activities place special emphasis on: health, education, environment and agriculture, and culture and sports.
Greece contributes to numerous multilateral development institutions. The largest single component of the Greek aid programme is allocated to development programmes implemented by the European Commission. Greece’s remaining multilateral ODA is fragmented among a large number of multilateral organisations which does not allow it to have a significant voice in the agencies it supports. Primary responsibility for Greece’s relations with these agencies is spread across a range of directorates in a number of ministries.
Support for SRHR and HIV/AIDS activities
According to the Resource Flows Project, in 2009, Greece had contributed US$ 6.3 million to population and HIV/AIDS activities in 2003. While this represents a drastic increase compared to previous years. In 2008, Greece contributed €6,291 to the UNFPA budget. UNAIDS received €1,112 and UNIFEM received €11,797.
In Greece’s 2008 calls for proposals, focused on a large number of countries where there was sufficient justification for health intervention. Countries included the Sub-Saharan African region, as well as the following specific cases:
- Ethiopia: to improve the system of access to services and parent gynaecological health
- Eritrea, Congo and Kenya - to improve health care
- Georgia - to equip health centres for preventative medicine and disease control
- Egypt – to train health personnel
- Syria – to strengthen health infrastructure
Co-operation with NGOs
Funding available for Hellenic Aid’s NGO co-financing activities has been modest. There are two types of actors which can receive Greek development aid:
- Greek Development Actors: Greek civil society organisations must be registered with the MFA.1
- Local Development Actors: Greek embassies, particularly in the Balkan countries, have oversight of 1% of the Greek aid budget in each country for a Small Projects Fund. Rules of eligibility for grants are determined at the embassy level.2
Law 2731 provides the foundations for an NGO co-financing scheme. It also established a National Advisory Committee on NGOs, chaired by the MFA and with representatives from other government ministries/agencies and civil society institutions. This committee meets twice a year to formulate and recommend policies related to activities by development NGOs and address implementation issues of a systemic nature.
The official Greek aid programme co-finances NGO development projects in the areas of education, institution building, support for civil society institutions and empowerment of vulnerable groups within societies. Particular emphasis is placed on activities within the Balkans and the Black Sea area that encourage regional integration and actions at grass-roots level. An important issue for Hellenic Aid is building up within Greece a broad range of competent and experienced NGOs able to tackle international development issues.
The Greek NGDO Platform ‘the Greek NGO Committee for Development’ works towards achieving international solidarity, especially in development, humanitarian assistance and development education. Hellenic Aid encourages Greek organisations to establish partnerships with NGOs, the private sector, and other partners in the developing countries.3
The Hellenic Federation of Voluntary NGOs is the second-grade coordinative body of the Voluntary NGOs.
1 Criteria and guidelines to qualify for registration are available through Hellenic Aid.
2 A list of Greek embassies can be found here.
3 Contact information and information on Partnerships can be found in the NGO Platform Contact Information section of this Guide. More information can be found at: http://www.ngofederation.gr/en/main.php
Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Markoulakis, Prodormos, Director, Y.D.A.S. 2 (Rehabilitation and Development), Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hellenic Aid Assistance Disbursed through NGOs.
OECD, DAC, 2006, Greece Peer Review.