The objective of Latvia’s development co-operation policy is to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in developing countries, particularly in its priority partner countries, by promoting sustainable development and the eradication of poverty, the rule of law, and good governance. Latvia’s development policy is closely aligned with its foreign policy. The Development Cooperation Policy Guidelines for 2021-2027 were adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers in April 2021. With a clear focus on the European Union’s (EU) Eastern Partnership and Central Asia, Latvia’s development co-operation aims to promote sustainable growth and stability in its region.

Latvia’s ODA has increased in recent years, including in 2021 when total official development assistance (ODA) reached USD 47 million (preliminary data), representing 0.12% of gross national income (GNI). Most of Latvia’s assistance is channelled through multilateral organisations, with the remainder implemented bilaterally, mainly through technical co-operation.

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers adopted the Development Cooperation Policy Guidelines for 2021-2027 in April 2021, with similar commitments and objectives as the 2016-2020 Policy Guidelines. The Policy Guidelines define the goals, principles and strategic direction of its development co-operation, focusing on promoting sustainable development, the rule of law, good governance and the eradication of poverty. In geographical terms, the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and Central Asian countries (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) retain their priority status, and other regions, especially African countries, have been included as priority for the transfer of Latvia’s expertise on climate and digitalisation.

In 2020, the Cabinet also approved new procedures for conducting grant project competitions, and the parliament passed amendments to the Law on International Assistance that aim to, among other changes, allow the introduction of multi-year programming and projects. Most of Latvia’s assistance is channelled through multilateral organisations. In its co-operation with key partner countries, Latvia focuses on capacity building for public administrations; promoting entrepreneurship and export capacity; peace and security; promoting democratic participation and civil society development; and education.

Latvia is an Adherent to the OECD Recommendation of the Council for Development Co-operation Actors on Managing the Risk of Corruption, the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development, the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Environmental Assessment of Development Assistance Projects and Programmes, and the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. Learn more about DAC standards.

Latvia provided USD 47 million (preliminary data) of ODA in 2021,1 representing 0.12% of GNI. This was an increase of 9.9% in real terms in volume and the same share of GNI as in 2020. Latvia’s ODA has increased in recent years. The government has committed to strive to achieve a 0.33% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030 as part of the EU’s collective commitment to achieve a 0.7% ODA/GNI target by 2030. Latvia provided all of its ODA as grants in 2020.2

Latvia provided a higher share of its ODA multilaterally in 2020. Gross bilateral ODA was 12.3% of total ODA. The share of gross bilateral ODA channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions) was 28.7%. Latvia allocated 87.8% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2020, Latvia provided USD 411 000 of gross bilateral ODA for the COVID-19 response, representing 8.3% of its total gross bilateral ODA. Four per cent of total gross bilateral ODA was provided as health expenditure within the COVID-19 response.

In 2020, Latvia provided USD 37.1 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 17.3% in real terms from 2019. Of this, USD 35.7 million was core multilateral ODA, while non-core contributions were earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project-type funding that is earmarked for a specific theme and/or country accounted for 52.4% of Latvia’s non-core contributions and 47.6% was programmatic funding (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

Ninety-nine per cent of Latvia’s total contribution to multilateral organisations in 2020 was allocated to EU institutions (86%), the World Bank Group (8%) and the United Nations (UN) (5.2%).

The UN system received 5.5% of Latvia’s gross ODA to the multilateral system, mainly through core contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 2 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Latvia’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were: the UN Secretariat (USD 600 000), WHO (USD 300 000) and the ILO (USD 200 000).

See the section on Geographic and sectoral focus of ODA for the breakdown of bilateral allocations, including ODA earmarked through the multilateral development system. Learn more about multilateral development finance.

In 2020, Latvia’s bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 5 million of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented an increase of 9.8% in real terms from 2019. In 2020, Latvia focused most of its bilateral ODA on the partnerships; peace, justice and strong institutions; and reducing inequalities goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

In 2020, country programmable aid was 44.1% of Latvia’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to the reporting countries’ average of 47.8%. In-donor refugee costs were USD 1 million in 2020, a decrease of 6.3% in real terms over 2019, and represented 2.5% of Latvia’s total gross ODA.

In 2020, Latvia channelled bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector and multilateral organisations, as earmarked funding. Technical co-operation made up 4.7% of gross ODA in 2020.

In 2020, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 700 000 of gross bilateral ODA. 2.5% of gross bilateral ODA was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 12.5% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by the donor (earmarked funding). From 2019 to 2020, the combined core and earmarked contributions for CSOs increased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 7.2% to 15.1%. Learn more about ODA allocations to and through CSOs, civil society engagement in development co-operation and the DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid.

In 2020, Latvia’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Europe and Asia. USD 1.7 million was allocated to ODA-eligible countries in Europe and USD 1 million to South and Central Asia, accounting for 34.5% and 19.9% of gross bilateral ODA respectively. Europe and South and Central Asia were also the main regional recipients of Latvia’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, in line with the policy priorities of its overall strategy.

In 2020, 54.1% of gross bilateral ODA went to Latvia’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are in Europe and Asia, in line with its focus on its immediate neighbourhood and its policy priorities. The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 43.4%, mainly due to expenditure for in-donor refugees.

In 2020, more than half of all of Latvia’s bilateral ODA was allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 54.7% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 2.7 million), with a focus on support to government and civil society (USD 1.5 million) and education (USD 1 million). ODA for other sectors totalled USD 1.4 million, mainly including refugee/asylum seekers in donor countries (USD 1 million) and administrative costs (USD 300 000). Bilateral humanitarian assistance amounted to USD 800 000 (15.7% of bilateral ODA). Earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused on social infrastructure and services in 2020.

Latvia also committed USD 100 000 (2.7% of its bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2020.

In 2020, Latvia committed 24.1% of its screened bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment, as either a principal or significant objective. This is equal to USD 900 000 of bilateral ODA in support of gender equality, up from USD 400 000 in 2019. The share of screened bilateral allocable aid committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal objective was 3.5%. Latvia screens virtually all activities against the DAC gender equality policy marker (99% in 2020). Learn more about ODA focused on gender equality, the DAC Network on Gender Equality and the DAC Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation in Development Co-operation.

While many different stakeholders are involved in Latvia’s development co-operation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs plays a central policy formulation and co-ordination role, in consultation with the Consultative Council that includes representatives from the parliament (Saeima), line ministries, CSOs and social partners. Latvia’s Development Cooperation Policy Guidelines for 2021-2027 define the goals, principles and directions of Latvia’s development co-operation. To implement these guidelines, each year the Cabinet is requested to approve a development co-operation policy plan, which sets out detailed priorities and associated funding allocations. While the majority of Latvia’s ODA is channelled through multilateral organisations and co-ordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, bilateral ODA is provided in a decentralised manner through dedicated funds within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as through other government institutions and local governments.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia:

Member of the OECD since 2016. Not a member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee. Reporting to the OECD since 2002 and reporting activity-level data since 2017 on 2016 activities.

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including the grant-equivalent methodology, core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, country programmable aid, channels of delivery, bilateral ODA unspecified/unallocated, bilateral allocable aid, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.


← 1. DAC members adopted the grant-equivalent methodology starting from their reporting of 2018 data as a more accurate way to count the donor effort in development loans. See the methodological notes for further details.

← 2. Other providers also provide non-grants, which include sovereign loans, multilateral loans, equity investment and loans to the private sector.

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