As a member state of the European Union and a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Hungary’s national legislation is guided by the climate policy-related requirements of the European Union and the commitments under the UNFCCC. Hungary ensures that climate protection measures are in line with the Paris Agreement at the domestic level, as well as with the EU climate policy framework, facilitating their implementation. 

Given the fact that developing countries are the most vulnerable to global warming and environmental deterioration, Hungary is committed to supporting developing countries to achieve the social, economic, spatial, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. As stated in the Voluntary National Review of Hungary in 2018, the environmental pillar has been at the centre of the concept of sustainability.  

Hungary is convinced that access to clean water and sanitation is one of the greatest challenges; the development of these services plays an ever-important role in furthering sustainable development, equality and peace in developing countries. 

In this regard, Hungary implemented several water-related development projects in 2020, as follows: 

  • Within the framework of the comprehensive, USD 19.6 million development programme in Uganda, an innovative water management project was implemented in the Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement with a total value of USD 1.3 million. The project provided three schools in the Rwamanja Refugee Settlement access to clean water.  

  • Hungary has recently implemented two innovative water-management projects through which mobile water purifier systems were provided to Tunisia (value of USD 111.83 thousand) and to Kyrgyzstan (value of USD 84 000).  

  • Between 2017-21, Hungary implemented a complex development programme with a total budget of USD 1.6 million to help internally displaced persons in Iraq. Within the programme, among others, Hungary reconstructed the water infrastructure of seven villages and rehabilitated an irrigation channel in the Nahla Valley. Additionally, Hungary provided a Hungarian water purifier system that supplies locals with 200 m3 of drinking water per day. 

According to Hungary’s International Development Co-operation Strategy for the period 2020-25 (IDC2025), each line ministry reports to the Interministerial Committee for International Development Co-operation (IDC Committee) on an annual basis. The IDC Committee seeks to foster co-ordination between relevant domestic actors and reviews, evaluates and reports on the Government’s policies. These insights form part of the annual international development report produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, in line with provisions of the Act XC of 2014 on International Development Co-operation and International Humanitarian Assistance. A comprehensive review of IDC2025 will take place at the end of 2024 with the involvement of the relevant ministries, experts and civil society organisations (CSOs). This review will form the basis of renewing the Strategy, as necessary. The Ministry for Innovation and Technology (as the ministry responsible for climate issues) and the Ministry for Agriculture (as the ministry responsible for environmental issues) work closely together to systematically integrate environmental and climate objectives into strategies and projects, and into development co-operation efforts.

Hungary’s development co-operation efforts integrate international climate and environment objectives. In line with the vision of Hungary’s International Development Co-operation Strategy for the period 2020-25 (IDC2025), Hungary seeks to contribute to the sustainable development of its partner countries and their local communities in a manner consistent with their needs and demands. Moreover, IDC2025 is in accordance with the principle of leaving no one behind and closely abides by the aims of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the overarching guidelines of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), in particular pertaining to the eradication of poverty and addressing inequality. Among others, Hungary prioritises the implementation of projects and programmes pertaining to water management and sanitation, agriculture, health, education, the environment and information technology. 

The aim of Hungary’s IDC2025 is to ensure that Hungary plays a more prominent role in addressing some of the foremost challenges faced by the international community. IDC2025 is predicated on five key objectives. Those that have a more direct link to climate and environment are:

  • Hungary aims to enhance its international role in development co-operation. In order to reach this objective, a greater emphasis has been placed on the implementation of strategic, tailor-made bilateral development co-operation programmes based on local needs and demands, taking into account socio-environmental concerns.

  • Although Hungary’s current development co-operation already accords with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, IDC2025 seeks to enhance the country’s development co-operation focus on those goals in which Hungarian actors have a comparative advantage (water management and sanitation, agriculture, health, education, environment, information technology), thus contributing in the most effective way possible to sustainable development.

The above-mentioned strategies and action plans provide the framework to align development operations with climate objectives.

The Hungarian government adopted the Handbook for the Selection, Monitoring and Evaluation of International Development Projects in 2020. The aim of this framework is to contribute to achieving the principles and the objectives of Hungary’s IDC2025 Strategy while proposing the application of a unified policy for co-ordinating the activities of the various development actors by selecting, monitoring and evaluating international development projects. Through the application of the guidelines, the selected projects can be implemented in the most efficient way possible, project results can be measured, compared and translated into lessons learned for future project selection and implementation processes. In addition, it also enables projects to be more demand-driven while conforming to Hungary’s development priorities, including environment and climate objectives. Such objectives are monitored and evaluated through the surveys to be filled out by its development partners, e.g. if the project had an environmental impact and which SDGs were supported by the project. These experiences, results and lessons learned can be channelled towards decision-making processes, which thereby contribute to optimising the accountability, transparency and efficiency of Hungary’s international development co-operation.

Hungary puts a considerable emphasis on the demands and priorities of the countries where development projects are to be implemented. A thorough needs assessment is conducted prior to the selection of the project and the implementing partners. Moreover, since Hungary’s IDC2025 Strategy strives to align with the global development objectives and follow the principles of the development co-operation guidelines, projects are expected to contribute to partner countries’ own national transition strategies and priorities.

Hungary’s climate efforts abroad focus on the Western Balkans. With the establishment of the Western Balkans Green Fund Project, the Government of Hungary supports the green transition and social development of the region. As part of this project in 2019, the Government established the Western Balkans Green Center (WBGC). Under the authority of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, the Center aims to contribute to the region’s climate protection efforts in line with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as set forth in the Paris Agreement. In 2020, the WBGC closed two grant programmes disbursing more than EUR 2 million among 25 high-quality projects in the region. The investment preparation and capacity-building projects cover the sectors of water and waste management, sustainable energy, agriculture, nature conservation, and digitalisation in all six countries of operation in the Western Balkans (namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia). Projects are promoted by private sector participation through Hungary-based companies as well as education hubs. In June 2021, the WBGC launched its third grant call.

The WBGC and the Vienna-based Energy Community are jointly preparing to launch the Center of Excellence in Green Transition for the Western Balkans (CEGT). The CEGT will implement knowledge exchange and capacity-building programmes, with the focus on climate- and environment-friendly as well as energy-transition efforts. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a two-year rolling working programme establishing the CEGT were signed between the Ministry for Innovation and Technology and the Energy Community on 14 June 2021.

Programmes supported by the WBGC (a non-exhaustive list) include:

  • developing tools to support the establishment and implementation of climate policy in Montenegro

  • assessment of energy efficiency and renewable energy development opportunities in the municipality of Backa Topola, Serbia

  • knowledge transfer supporting the Western Balkans region to prepare for EU natural conservation and climate directives.

Hungary devotes great importance to sustainable development, climate mitigation and adaptation throughout its development projects. On the one hand, IDC2025 highlights the environment as a main priority for its interventions, and regards climate issues as a crosscutting field that appears in its priorities, such as agriculture, information technology and education, to name but a few. On the other hand, the selection, monitoring and evaluation of the projects also focus on the importance of environment-related questions, which are listed in Hungary’s Handbook for the Selection, Monitoring and Evaluation of International Development Projects.

Hungary’s IDC2025 Strategy highlights the importance of the engagement of the private sector, on the one hand to be able to bridge the funding gap for infrastructural development, and on the other hand to bring expertise to the table. It is worth noting that Hungary has a comparative advantage in the fields mentioned in their Strategy. These include water management and sanitation, healthcare, environment, information technology and education. Hungary provides devices and equipment to development partners as well as knowledge through capacity-building training sessions.

  • Hungary’s International Development Programme in the Republic of Uganda is a multi-faceted flagship initiative for the economic development model introduced by IDC2025. The programme is composed of multiple projects pertaining to infrastructure development and capacity building in the fields of, among others, water management and smart tourism. The components of this multi-sectoral programme overall aim to achieve stability, sustainable development and equality in the country while taking into account environmental and climate objectives.

  • Innovative water and energy investments in Tirana, Albania: Mali me Gropa is a vulnerable karstic water reserve exposed to the effects of climate change and increasing human presence. Due to the growing population and environmental reasons, the shortage of drinking water resources will probably increase in the near future. In light of these, the purpose of the project is to propose a new water supply option alongside the existing waterworks, so other water industry investments could be realised in the future, such as a high-efficiency karst-related micro hydroelectric power station. Surveys and planning are complemented by on-site hydrogeology and flood protection education, where experts share their experiences with local decision makers.  

  • Waste utilisation for energy production in Montenegro: This feasibility study addresses how using waste as fuel could deliver measurable benefits in landfills as well as in the CO2 and slurry emissions of the local power plant. The existing landfills will be evaluated, quantifying the possible amount of waste to be utilised. The waste production will be evaluated based on its potential to be sorted and shredded for secondary raw material. Based on these measures, the amount of RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) and SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel) can be estimated. SRF is a high-quality alternative to fossil fuels to be used in the power plant after the furnaces are modified. The economic analysis covers a basic return-on-investment calculation of the whole project. 

Hungary’s IDC2025 Strategy highlights the need for supporting Least Developed Countries (LDCs), a great share of which is accounted for by Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Hungary devotes a great importance to the fields of water management, environment protection, climate action, agriculture, education and healthcare, which enables it to have considerable expertise in the prioritised fields (water management and sanitation, food security, human capital) of the Samoa Pathway. Moreover, Hungary believes that supporting access to quality education through scholarship programmes is a vital step towards sustainability. In this regard, Hungary provides full scholarships to the brightest international students, who, upon returning to their countries are able to contribute to achieving the national and global environmental and climate priorities.

For instance, Hungary has a strong tie with Cabo Verde, among the SIDS, and has carried out several development projects in the West African country, where Hungary approved the implementation of a tied aid programme in the fields of water management and agriculture, which will indirectly support national and global climate objectives. In 2019, Hungary supported a climate-related water and sanitation project for an amount of HUF 27 million. The aim of the project was to develop a water management concept for Cabo Verde, in line with national and global climate objectives. The study summarises the water management-related efforts and achievements in Cabo Verde and defines the necessary steps towards the mid-term water management development goals set by the Government of Cabo Verde.

Moreover, in 2018 Hungary provided a water purification system to Cuba, to support the island on its sustainable development trajectory.

Hungary overall follows the principles and guidelines of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), in order to align all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities, where LDCs and SIDS equally receive considerable weight within Hungary’s development priorities.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2021

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at