Estonia

Introduction

The main objective of Estonian development co-operation is to contribute to the eradication of poverty and to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. It does so by supporting the quality of education and the development of healthcare; guaranteeing peace and stability; supporting the development of democracy, the introduction of good governance practices and guaranteeing human rights; promoting economic development; fostering environmentally friendly development; and raising the awareness of the Estonian public, particularly youth, concerning development co-operation and humanitarian aid, as well as global development problems. In all of these areas, Estonia promotes more extensive application of ITC technologies in the framework of development co-operation.

Estonian bilateral development co-operation primarily targets countries to which Estonia can offer added value based on its own experiences. A new Strategy for Estonian Foreign Policy is being drafted and will include development co-operation. In addition, a strategy paper on Africa will be elaborated, where development co-operation has a role to play.

Official development assistance

In 2018, Estonia provided USD 48.6 million in total official development assistance (ODA) (preliminary data). This represented 0.16% of gross national income (GNI). Since Estonia did not extend any loans in 2018, its total ODA is the same using the new “grant-equivalent” methodology (see the methodological notes for further details) adopted by DAC members on their reporting of 2018 data as a more accurate way to count the donor effort in development loans and the “cash-flow basis” methodology used in the past. Total ODA for 2018 represented an increase of 4.1% in real terms from 2017, due to an increase in multilateral contributions, mainly to the European Union.

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In 2017, 47% of gross ODA was provided bilaterally, of which 25% was channelled through multilateral organisations (multi-bi/non-core contributions). Estonia allocated 53% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

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In 2017, 39.6% of bilateral ODA was programmed with partner countries, making Estonia’s share of country programmable aid higher than the average for development providers beyond the DAC of 27.4% (see the methodological notes for further details on country programmable aid). Project-type interventions accounted for 22.1% of this aid.

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In 2017, Estonia channelled 35.4% of gross bilateral ODA through the public sector (up from 25.8% in 2016). In 2017, Estonia channelled6.4% of its ODA through universities or other teaching and research institutions and 1.9% of its ODA through private sector institutions. See the methodological notes for further details on channels of delivery.

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In 2017, USD 6.4 million of gross bilateral ODA was channelled to and through civil society organisations (CSOs). Between 2016 and 2017, ODA channelled to and through CSOs increased as a share of bilateral aid (from 23% to 31.7%).

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In 2017, bilateral ODA was primarily focused on Europe, followed by Asia. USD 5.4 million was allocated to Europe, USD 3.6 million to Asia, and USD 1.5 million to Africa. USD 0.2 million was allocated to sub-Saharan Africa. Bilateral allocations to sub-Saharan Africa increased compared to 2016.

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In 2017, 35% of gross bilateral ODA went to Estonia’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are mainly in Europe and South and Central Asia, where Estonia has programmes with six countries, in line with its focus on its immediate neighbourhood. Support to fragile contexts reached USD 2.4 million in 2017 (11.6% of gross bilateral ODA). Learn more about support to fragile contexts.

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In 2017, 8.1% of Estonia’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 1.6 million) was allocated to the least developed countries (LDCs). This is similar to 8% in 2016 and is less than the average of providers beyond the DAC of 12.3% in 2017. Lower middle-income countries received the highest share of bilateral ODA in 2017 (26.5%), noting that 61.9% was unallocated by income group.

At 0.03% of GNI in 2017, total ODA to the LDCs was lower than the UN target of 0.15-0.20% of GNI. This includes imputed multilateral flows, i.e. making allowance for contributions through multilateral organisations, calculated using the geographical distribution of multilateral disbursements.

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In 2017, 29.1% of bilateral ODA commitments was allocated to social infrastructure and services, for a total of USD 5.9 million, with a strong focus on support to government and civil society (USD 3.8 million) and education (USD 1.6 million). Humanitarian aid amounted to USD 3.8 million. Estonia also committed USD 1.9 million (13.5% of bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2017.

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USD 1 million of bilateral ODA commitments supported the environment. In 2017, 9% of its gross bilateral allocable aid supported the environment . Allocations supporting the environment increased from 4% in 2016. Learn more about climate-related development finance.

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Institutional set-up

Estonia’s development co-operation is provided in line with itsStrategy for Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid, 2016-2020. This strategy sets out the goals and objectives of Estonia’s development co-operation, its sectoral and geographical priorities, as well as its estimated financial allocations for ODA. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the key institution responsible for managing and co-ordinating Estonia’s development co-operation.

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Additional resources

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia, Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid: https://vm.ee/en/activities-objectives/development-cooperation-and-humanitarian-aid

Member of the OECD since 2010. Not a member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

Estonia