Waldner: "New ways for development cooperation with Nicaragua"
State Secretary Waldner visits Austrian Development Agency partner country
Managua, 31 January 2012 - "Development cooperation between Austria and Nicaragua has helped improve the conditions of life in Nicaragua over the past 25 years", State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner said on the occasion of his official visit to Nicaragua. This joint success will make the scheduled end of the country strategy by 2013 easier. "Our ties with Nicaragua will remain unchanged, business partnerships, projects of non-governmental organisations and EU programmes will continue and secure what has already been achieved. We will remain strong partners", State Secretary Waldner said.
"Nicaragua is steering a good course. Extreme poverty has decreased over the past few years and the progress in health care has also been impressive", the State Secretary said. "The programmes of the Austrian Development Cooperation organisation have above all strengthened rural development, health care, education and the private sector", Waldner said after his talks in Managua. One example of these programmes is the support given to farmers who cultivate land of the edge of the rain forest in changing to ecological farming methods.
"Austrian support granted to small and medium-sized companies was a real impetus for the development of the local economy and has created new jobs. Young people and women have been the main beneficiaries", Brigitte Öppinger-Walchshofer said. She is CEO of the Austrian Development Agency ADA and accompanying the Austrian State Secretary on this visit.
"The waiting lists for surgical interventions have been cut by half, more than 90 percent of all children are inoculated every year and 60 percent of expectant mothers receive pre-natal support. These measures are a real help for the poorest members of society", the CEO of ADA continued.
"The bilateral project will be concluded by the end of 2013 following a process that has been aligned and organised with the partner institutions. It is very important to us that the success we have achieved so far will also be secured for the future and that the programmes will be made part of any further cooperation projects with other donors. The Austrian Development Agency is to concentrate on its partner countries in Africa for the future in line with the priorities of the European Union. Austria is also following the recommendations of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD and the principles of international division of labour by changing its focus to this area", Waldner said.
Federal Ministry for
European and international Affairs
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213