German development policy is geared as a cornerstone of a global structural and peace policy to helping improve living conditions in partner countries. It aims to overcome hunger and poverty worldwide and strengthen democracy and the rule of law. The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development draws up the guidelines and concepts. As part of government development cooperation, Germany works with 85 partner countries in jointly agreed country programmes that can involve all the various government tools for development cooperation. Africa is a key region, but Germany also works extremely closely with countries in Asia, southeast Europe, and Latin America.
In 2016 Germany for the first time achieved the goal set by the United Nations of investing 0.7 percent of gross domestic product in development cooperation. On an international scale, Germany with an annual 24.68 billion dollars is the second-largest donor country for public development cooperation after the USA. In the various country projects are managed by implementing organisations, as a rule Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the KfW Group, and also others.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Global development in the coming years will be decisively influenced by the 2030 Agenda as resolved by the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly at the end of September 2015. The core of the Agenda 2030 are the 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Global realisation of the Agenda can lay the foundations for global economic progress in harmony with social justice and within Earth’s ecological limits.
Pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000-15 succeeded in halving poverty worldwide and, amongst other things, improving access to drinking water and education. From 2012-6, the number of the most impoverished people among the world’s population fell from 12.8 percent to 9.6 percent despite adjustments to the baseline defining absolute poverty from 1.25 to 1.90 US dollars a day. The major goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 thus seems possible. Problems such as the overly great use of resources, ongoing climate change and the destruction of the environment, high unemployment and social inequality, remain urgent. The Agenda 2030 will boost a worldwide change in favour of more sustainability – in the economic, ecological, and social dimensions, and taking the existing links between the three into consideration. It is meant as a “future agreement” for the world applicable to all countries and addressing a broad range of policies that go far beyond development cooperation: In addition to the fight against starvation and poverty, planet Earth, as the basis of existence of future generations, will be protected; economic systems and lifestyles will become more just and more sustainable (as well as more efficient), discrimination will be fought, not least of all by strengthening effective inclusive and democratic institutions, responsible governance, as well as the rule of law. Ultimately the agreement for ensuring sustainability in the future needs a “multi-player” approach: The plan envisages that in addition to governments, above all social groups and the worlds of business and scholarship play important roles in the implementation of Agenda 2030.