On 23 September 2022, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, delivered an address at the opening of a seminar for the implementers of Latvia’s development cooperation projects in partner countries. The seminar hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was aimed at sharing experience and exchanging views on project communication, safety and other matters concerning project implementation.
The Parliamentary Secretary thanked the project promoters for their efforts invested, and she underlined: “This year, 31 development cooperation projects are being implemented with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The growth in the number of the projects put in practice shows the expanding scope of Latvia’s development cooperation and the scale of projects. Increasingly more non-governmental organisations, companies and institutions want to carry out well-considered projects. It gives special satisfaction that public awareness and support for the implementation of development cooperation policy are also on the rise.”
Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica recognised that a vast community of the implementers of development cooperation had come into being in Latvia; she pointed out that work was under way to achieve that the Central Finance and Contracting Agency (CFCA) is accredited by the European Commission as Latvia’s development cooperation agency. That would make it possible to further strengthen the current development cooperation system and enable Latvian implementers to get involved in increasingly larger projects.
As Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica addressed the participants from public authorities, local governments, civil society, academic institutions and the private sector, she noted that one of the tasks of the Latvian development cooperation community was to explain to society the significance and benefits of development cooperation both for our partner countries and for Latvia: “It is essential for people in Latvia to know how important and valuable your work is.”
The Parliamentary Secretary praised assistance provided by Latvia’s development cooperation project promoters to Ukrainian people who had suffered from Russian aggression, and their contribution to the recovery of Ukrainian economy and facilitation of its euro-integration process. This year, 15 projects are being implemented in support of Ukraine. Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica also highlighted the work of Latvia’s development cooperation project promoters in Moldova, Georgia, and Uzbekistan in the areas of good governance, gender equality, education, business development, and digitalisation. The Parliamentary Secretary expressed satisfaction with a first-ever project being carried out in Africa this year.
Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica called for continued involvement in development cooperation activities, and she underlined that one of the major tasks for Latvia’s development cooperation next year would be participation in the process of Ukraine’s reconstruction: “The needs are great; therefore, it is vital that all of us – public authorities, local governments, representatives from the non-governmental and private sectors – are prepared to engage and cooperate in the name of that goal.”
Financing to the amount of 1 363 813 euros has been made available in 2022 for the implementation of development cooperation in the priority countries defined by Latvia.