NGOs represent a complementary channel for bilateral aid, enabling Luxembourg to be active in countries and sectors where the Ministry does not intervene. Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation thus contributes to strengthening the role of development NGOs as the spokesperson for the most vulnerable and to promoting inclusive governance, accountability and respect for human rights. In this context, it is worth remembering that NGOs are partners of Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation in the fight against poverty and social inequality, and are not government officials.
In 2019, 94 associations were approved the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs under the amended Law of 6 January 1996 on development cooperation and humanitarian action. Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation can thus draw on a large number of strong partnerships on the basis of close collaboration with NGOs.
In 2019 the NGOs disbursed EUR 47 million for development cooperation activities, particularly through the main financial instruments:
- Development cooperation framework agreements: 26 framework agreements were co-financed in 2019, including two framework agreements carried out as a consortium at a total cost of EUR 29.03 million.
- In 2019, seven new multi-year framework agreements were signed, including two on a consortium basis at a total cost of EUR 36.6 million.
- Co-financing of development projects: 74 individual projects by 42 NGOs were supported in 2019 at a total cost of EUR 8.44 million: of these projects, 31 were new projects implemented by 29 NGOs.
In total, the ODA allocated to national NGOs in 2019 was EUR 67.04 million, i.e. 22% of Luxembourg’s official bilateral development assistance.
This amount also includes the ODA allocated for humanitarian action (emergency aid, food aid, crisis prevention, reconstruction and rehabilitation), subsidies for public awareness-raising and development education in Luxembourg, and support for NGOs’ administrative expenses.
Luxembourg’s civil society also stands out in terms of the high level of involvement by volunteers who work at NGOs to implement development projects in countries of the South or awareness-raising and development education campaigns targeting the general public in Luxembourg.
The number of approved NGOs and the high percentage of ODA allocated to NGOs bear witness to the value placed by the people of Luxembourg on civil society organisations as separate development operators. The Ministry’s strong commitment to Luxembourg NGOs is thus enabling ODA to remain at around 1% of GNI. The Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs cultivates regular, constructive dialogue with the NGOs, represented by the Cercle des ONG of Luxembourg, seen in particular in the meetings of the MFA-NGO working group, which met on five occasions in 2019.