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Partner countries announced.
Scotland will build upon partnerships with four countries to deliver a number of International Development works streams, Alasdair Allan announced today.
The Minister for International Development told the annual NIDOS conference that Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda will form the Scottish Government's sub-Saharan project base, and there will be a strong emphasis on education through scholarships in Pakistan.
Following a public consultation the Minister announced that the Scottish Government will work with the partner countries to explore how Scotland can support some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
Speaking at the NIDOS conference, Alasdair Allan said:
"We held a wide, open and honest conversation through our consultation on our International Development Policy and were delighted with the responses we received. We said from the beginning that although we believed our budget was spread too thinly across seven countries, our historic and special relationship with Malawi would be preserved. We also wanted to be more focussed, targeted and transparent in order to make a real difference to some of the world's most vulnerable people.
"The consultation looked at our geographic focus, thematic focus and improving our programme funding. We believe we have achieved this by sharpening our new international development programme to focus on four partner countries."
The Scottish Government's International Development fund will increase from £9 million a year to £10 million from 2017 – more than tripling international development funding since 2008, when it was set at £3 million. A new £1 million per year Humanitarian Aid Fund will also be introduced during the next financial year.
Alasdair Allan said:
"Our increased funding and refreshed policy reinforces our vision of Scotland's place as a good global citizen, committed to playing our role in addressing the challenges faced by our world.
"Our mutual need and support of each other, across borders, has never been felt more acutely. We're excited about forging stronger and more meaningful partnerships with Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda and Pakistan. Together we'll work towards achieving the Global Goals, striving to create a fairer world and making a real difference to the lives of our fellow global citizens."
The following countries will be the main focus of the Scottish Government's International Development Fund from 2017 onwards:
Scotland will continue its special relationship with the people and government of Malawi – the links between both countries built up over the past 158 years through investments having proven to be increasingly fruitful.
The Scottish Government is also looking to renew its commitment to the Government to Government partnership through refreshing the cooperation agreement in 2017.
Together with the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF), the Scottish Government already has a programme in Zambia helping to support thousands of small-scale famers increase food production through organic farming techniques.
Although Dr David Livingstone is most often linked with Malawi, he was just as active and present in neighbouring Zambia. He lived his final days in Zambia and his heart remains there to this day. Due to its close proximity with Malawi, this will make connections, sharing and partnership even more effective. The Scottish Government will work closely with Zambia Scotland Partnership to further develop this new relationship.
Often known for all the wrong reasons due to the tragedy of the 1994 genocide, Rwanda has made enormous strides since then, becoming an increasingly significant country in the East African community.
Rwanda is a shining example of peacekeeping, stability, social development and more recently, gender equality. Scotland already has grassroot connections through the Rwanda Scotland Alliance, and an Honorary Consul for Rwanda to Scotland to help support and build Government to Government relationships.
Tackling education and inequalities are central to the Scottish Government's priorities, which is why the emphasis in Pakistan will be on education, delivered mostly through a scholarship programme.
The Scottish Government is committed to strengthening the historical, cultural and business links between Scotland and Pakistan, which are mutually beneficial and incredibly enriching. In future, these links, articulated through Scotland's Engagement Strategy with Pakistan, will focus on education and skills – along with trade and investment, energy and water, and culture and heritage.