Poland

Poland’s development co-operation focuses on its Eastern European partner countries and select partner countries in Africa and the Middle East. The largest proportion of Poland’s official development assistance (ODA) is provided as core contributions to the multilateral system, particularly to European Union (EU) institutions. Poland’s total official development assistance (ODA) decreased in 2023 (USD 2.6 billion, preliminary data), representing 0.34% of gross national income (GNI).

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

The Multiannual Programme for Development Cooperation for 2021-2030: Solidarity for Development focuses Poland’s development co-operation on its eastern neighbours, in particular Ukraine and Moldova, and on select partners in Africa and the Middle East, such as Lebanon, Senegal and the United Republic of Tanzania. Along with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Poland notably focuses on peace, justice and strong institutions. Climate action and gender equality are cross-cutting priorities. An annual Development Co-operation Plan sets objectives and actions for Poland’s engagement.

Engagement with the European Union is a multilateral priority. Poland has initiated and strongly promotes the Eastern Partnership initiative within the European Union as a key factor in promoting stability and successful transformation in the EU neighbourhood. Poland’s development policy documents include a commitment to policy coherence for development and identify several priority areas for greater coherence. These include illicit financial flows, illegal trade in endangered plant and animal species, and responsible business conduct.

Poland’s 2023 peer review was its second since becoming a member of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in 2013. The review commended Poland’s impressive whole-of-society response to the conflict at its border and the long-term vision embodied in Poland’s policy to 2030. The review also identified opportunities for the Polish development co-operation system to work better together, to programme bilateral ODA more efficiently, and to enhance multilateral and civil society partnerships. It recommended that Poland move away from annual calls for proposals to a more sustainable partnerships model, strengthen the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s (MFA) capabilities and better align international engagement with Poland’s commitments to sustainable development. The peer review found that Poland had fully or partially implemented 8 of the 15 recommendations of the 2017 peer review. Learn more about Poland’s 2023 DAC peer review.

Poland provided USD 2.6 billion (preliminary data) of ODA in 2023 (USD 2.2 billion in constant terms), representing 0.34% of GNI.1 This was a decrease of 36.6% in real terms in volume and a decrease in the share of GNI from 2022. Following a period of slow but steady increases in ODA, in 2022, Poland’s ODA had increased by 255.6% in real terms in volume and reached 0.51% of GNI due to a surge in in-donor refugee costs (64.6% of total ODA). In 2022 and 2023, Poland met its commitment to provide 0.33% of GNI as ODA, as part of the collective EU commitment to achieve a 0.7% ODA/GNI ratio by 2030. Within Poland’s ODA portfolio in 2022, 98.8% was provided in the form of grants and 1.2% in the form of non-grants.2

In 2023, Poland ranked 17th among Development Assistance Committee (DAC) member countries when ODA is taken as a share of GNI. The EU remains the most important multilateral channel for Polish ODA. In line with its policy, Poland’s bilateral ODA allocations are concentrated in its eastern neighbourhood. Poland’s bilateral ODA remains highly tied to Polish organisations. The large increase in reported in-donor refugee costs in 2022 means that the share of bilateral ODA allocated to other areas may have decreased from 2021 to 2022, even if absolute volumes have not.

Poland is committed to several international targets and Development Assistance Committee standards and recommendations. Learn more about DAC recommendations.

Poland provided a higher share of its ODA bilaterally in 2022, mainly due to the exceptionally high share of in-donor refugee costs. Gross bilateral ODA was 76.3% of total ODA disbursements. Less than one per cent of gross bilateral ODA was channelled through multilateral organisations (earmarked contributions). Poland allocated 23.7% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2023, Poland provided USD 229.1 million (preliminary data) of net bilateral ODA to Ukraine to respond to the impacts of Russia’s war of aggression, a 38.6% decrease from 2022 in real terms. USD 73.5 million of the amount was allocated to humanitarian assistance, a 70.4% decrease from 2022.

In 2022, Poland provided USD 849.5 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 26.5% in real terms from 2021. Of this, USD 833.1 million was core multilateral ODA, while USD 16.4 million was non-core contributions earmarked for a specific country, region, theme or purpose. Project-type funding earmarked for a specific theme and/or country accounted for 21% of Poland’s non-core contributions, and 79% was programmatic funding (to pooled funds and specific-purpose programmes and funds).

Ninety-two per cent of Poland’s total contributions to multilateral organisations in 2022 were allocated to EU Institutions.

The United Nations (UN) system received 4.7% of Poland’s multilateral contributions, of which USD 4.7 million (11.9%) represented earmarked contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 39.5 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Poland’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were the UN Secretariat (USD 12.5 million), the FAO (USD 3.5 million) and the WHO (USD 3.1 million).

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

In 2022, Poland’s bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year, mainly due to the exceptionally high share of in-donor refugee costs. Poland provided USD 2.7 billion of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented an increase of 810.5% in real terms from 2021.

In-donor refugee costs were USD 2.2 billion in 2022, an increase of 13 505.7% in real terms over 2021, and represented 81.9% of Poland’s total gross bilateral ODA. In 2022, the country's programmable aid was just 5% of Poland’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to the DAC country average of 42%.

In 2022, Poland channelled its bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector. Technical co-operation made up 3.9% of gross ODA in 2022.

In 2022, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 30.9 million of gross bilateral ODA, of which 1.8% was directed to CSOs based in developing countries. Overall, no bilateral ODA was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 1.1% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by the donor (earmarked funding). From 2021 to 2022, the combined core and earmarked contributions for CSOs decreased as a share of bilateral ODA, from 7.2% to 1.2%. Learn more about the DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid.

In 2022, Poland’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on ODA-eligible countries in Europe. USD 406 million was allocated to ODA-eligible countries in Europe (of which 78.2% went to Ukraine) and USD 32.6 million to Asia, accounting respectively for 15.2% and 1.2% of gross bilateral ODA. USD 20 million was allocated to Africa. Europe was also the main regional recipient of Poland’s earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, in line with its policy priorities.

In 2022, 16.1% of gross bilateral ODA went to Poland’s top 10 recipients. The largest bilateral ODA recipient by far was Ukraine, followed by Belarus and Moldova. Five of Poland’s top 10 recipients are not among its priority partner countries or territories. The share of gross bilateral ODA not allocated by country was 82.2%, of which 99.7% consisted of expenditures for processing and hosting refugees in provider countries.

In 2022, Poland allocated 0.02% of its GNI to the least developed countries (LDCs). Noting that 82.2% of Poland’s gross bilateral ODA was unallocated by income group, Poland allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA to lower middle-income countries in 2022 (13.1%). Least developed countries (LDCs) received 56.5% of Portugal’ gross bilateral ODA (USD 145 million). Additionally, Poland allocated 1.6% of gross bilateral ODA to land-locked developing countries in 2022, equal to USD 41.8 million.

Support to fragile contexts was USD 36.4 million in 2022, representing 1.4% of Poland’s gross bilateral ODA. Eight per cent of this ODA was provided in the form of humanitarian assistance, a similar share to 2021 (8.2%), while 2.9% was allocated to peace, increasing from 1.3% in 2021. Less than one per cent went to conflict prevention, a subset of contributions to peace, similar to 2021. Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2022, the largest focus of Poland’s bilateral ODA was refugees and asylum seekers in Poland. Investments in this area accounted for 46% of bilateral ODA commitments. As the second largest sector, ODA for humanitarian assistance totalled USD 224.6 million (8.4% of bilateral ODA), focusing on emergency response (USD 133.8 million). Social infrastructure and services amounted to USD 191.3 million (7.1% of bilateral ODA). Poland committed USD 16.2 million in support of health and population in 2022, accounting for 0.6% of gross bilateral ODA, and representing a 20.2% increase from 2019 in real terms. Earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations focused primarily on humanitarian assistance and social sectors in 2022.

In 2022, Poland disbursed USD 13.5 million in ODA for the COVID-19 response, down from USD 64.4 million in 2021. Regarding COVID-19 vaccines, Poland provided USD 12.9 million in ODA for the donation of doses to developing countries in 2022, down 75.6% from USD 52.8 million in 2021. All COVID-19 vaccines accounted for donations of doses from domestic supply in 2022.

In the period 2021-22, Poland committed 5.6% of its screened bilateral allocable aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment, as either a principal or significant objective (up from 5.3% in 2019-20), compared with the 2021-22 DAC average of 43.3%. This is equal to USD 6.7 million of bilateral ODA in support of gender equality. Unpacking the gender equality data further:

  • The share of screened bilateral allocable aid committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal objective was 1.3% in 2021-22, compared with the DAC average of 3.9%.

  • Poland includes gender equality objectives in 1.7% of its ODA for humanitarian aid, below the 2021-22 DAC average of 17%.

  • Poland screens less than half of their bilateral allocable aid activities against the DAC gender equality policy marker (46.4% in 2021-22).

  • Poland committed USD 13.8 thousand of ODA to end violence against women and girls and USD 78 thousand to support women’s rights organisations and movements and government institutions in 2021-22.

Learn more about Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls: DAC Guidance for Development Partners and the DAC Recommendation on Ending Sexual Exploitation in Development Co-operation.

In 2021-22, Poland committed 3.9% of its total bilateral allocable aid (USD 9.7 million) in support of the environment and the Rio Conventions (the DAC average was 35.1%), down from 8.9% in 2019-20. Unpacking the environmental data further:

  • Three per cent of screened bilateral allocable aid focused on environmental issues as a principal objective, compared with the DAC average of 11%.

  • Three per cent of total bilateral allocable aid (USD 6.7 million) focused on climate change overall, down from 7% in 2019-20 (the DAC average was 30.5%). Poland had a greater focus on mitigation (0%) than on adaptation (0%) in 2021-22.

  • One per cent of screened bilateral allocable aid (USD 1 million) focused on biodiversity overall, down from 1.2% in 2019-20 (the DAC average was 7.2%).

Learn more about the DAC Declaration on Aligning Development Co-operation with the Goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change [DAC/CHAIR(2021)1/FINAL].

In 2022, Poland:

  • Sometimes seeks exemptions from local tax and customs duties for ODA-funded goods and services. Poland does not have a general policy in place, as reported on the OECD Digital Transparency Hub on the Tax Treatment of ODA.

  • Committed USD 36.6 million (10.8% of its bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy.

  • Committed USD 6.4 million (1.9% of its bilateral allocable aid) to address the immediate or underlying determinants of malnutrition in developing countries across a variety of sectors, such as emergency response, health and education.

  • Committed USD 7 million (2.1% of its bilateral allocable aid)f to development co-operation projects and programmes that promote the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities.

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation monitoring exercise tracks implementation of the effectiveness principles. Following the reform of the exercise over 2020-22, the 4th global monitoring round (2023-26) is underway. Information on partner countries’ participation in the exercise as well as their progress is available on the Global Dashboard.

To help improve the transparency of development co-operation, the OECD provides regular feedback to members on the overall quality of their statistical reporting and works with each member to ensure the data meet high quality standards before they are published. Regarding DAC/CRS reporting to the OECD, Poland’s reporting in 2022 was on time and complete, with some areas to improve in terms of accuracy.

Total official support for sustainable development (TOSSD) is an international statistical standard that monitors all official and officially supported resources for financing the SDGs in developing countries, as well as for addressing global challenges. It provides a broad measure of development finance with the objective of increasing transparency and accountability of all external support that developing countries receive. In 2022, activities reported as TOSSD by Poland totalled USD 3.6 billion, up from USD 1.1 billion in 2021. Poland’s TOSSD activities mostly targeted SDG 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and SDG 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Activity-level data on TOSSD by recipient are available at https://tossd.online.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-ordinates development co-operation policy under the brand “Polish Aid.” Through the Department of Development Cooperation, it manages most bilateral co-operation and is also responsible for EU co-operation. In addition to contributions to the EU budget, the Ministry of Finance also provides concessional lending after co-ordination with other ministries. The Solidarity Fund, a State Treasury foundation, implements a number of bilateral programmes and is able to sub-grant to local partners. The Ministry of Education and Science supervises the implementation of the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange’s scholarship programmes.

Within the MFA, there are less than 50 staff working on development. In addition, about ten staff are based in Poland’s country offices and embassies and work on development; half of them are full time.

An important mechanism for consulting stakeholders is the Development Cooperation Policy Council. The council includes representatives of the MFA and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, as well as other actors from the public administration, the national parliament, academia, non-governmental organisations and employers’ organisations. It meets at least twice per year. CSOs active in development co-operation, humanitarian assistance and global citizenship education co-ordinate under the umbrella body Grupa Zagranica.

Internal systems and processes help ensure the effective delivery of Poland’s development co-operation. Select features are shown in the table below.

2019 OECD-DAC mid-term review of Poland: DCD/DAC/AR(2024)3/30

Poland’s practices on the Development Co-operation TIPs: Tools Insights Practices learning platform: https://www.oecd.org/development-cooperation-learning?tag-key+partner=poland#search

Polish Aid: https://www.gov.pl/web/polishaid

Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA): https://www.gov.pl/web/diplomacy

CSO umbrella organisation Grupa Zagranica: https://zagranica.org.pl

Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since 2013.

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.

Notes

← 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. Non-grants include sovereign loans, multilateral loans, equity investment and loans to the private sector.

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 2024

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at https://www.oecd.org/termsandconditions.