Collaboration for development and humanitarian aid are integral parts of the Republic of Bulgaria's foreign policy and contribute to achieving its objectives. Official Development Assistance (ODA) is an important means of promoting sustainable growth in developing countries, supporting their integration into the global economy and building fairer and more democratic societies. This humanitarian aid is intended to save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity during and as a result of crises, as well as to prevent such situations, and enhance preparedness for their occurrence. By joining the EU, Bulgaria has committed to assisting the less developed countries identified as recipients of such assistance. Under the agreements reached within the EU, Member States that have joined since 2002 shall aim to allocate as much as 0.33% of their Gross National Income (GNI) for ODA. In the context of the overall ODA commitment and fully respecting individual priorities of the Member States, the EU has committed to supporting the least developed countries, collectively allocating from 0.15% to 0.2% of its GNI.
The objectives and areas of development aid set forth in the Medium-Term Programme focus primarily on sharing practical experience with the countries the Western Balkan and the Eastern Partnership. Bulgaria aims to transfer its experience of establishing working representative institutions and its EU accession process, including in the field of culture. The thematic and sectoral directions for development aid are tailored to the partners' needs, plus the available experience, expertise and resources from the Bulgarian side, as well as previous development policy cooperation. Good governance and respect for human rights in the partner country shall also be taken into consideration.
The Bulgaria-UNESCO Trust Fund supports projects in the cultural field mostly in Africa (electronic education platform, intangible and tangible cultural heritage, access to education and culture of women and girls), as well as in the Western Balkans (tangible cultural heritage).
Protecting cultural diversity is one of the thematic priorities of Bulgarian development policy. Bulgaria aims to develop the administrative capacity of the cultural sector in partner countries, including opportunities for participating in international cultural cooperation, developing local cultural potential, and using culture and cultural heritage as a strategic resource for sustainable development.
Developing the administrative capacity of the cultural sector in partner countries, including opportunities for participating in international cultural cooperation, developing local cultural potential, and using culture and cultural heritage as a strategic resource for sustainable development.
According to the estimated budget indicators, development assistance shall be provided under the "Protection of Cultural Diversity" thematic priority, as follows: 2016 - 28,848 USD; 2017 - 34,616 USD; 2018 - 40,385 USD; 2019 - 40,385 USD.