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. Politically and financially, the main emphasis is on bilateral cooperation with partner countries. As part of government development cooperation, Germany works with 50 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.
Germany has increased the budget for development cooperation by 8.3 billion euros through 2019. This means that in 2016 a good 0.4 percent of the gross domestic product will be channelled into development cooperation. On an international scale, the 16.25 billion dollars Germany allocates annually puts it third among the largest donor countries for public development cooperation, behind the USA and Great Britain. As a rule, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the KfW Group are the implementing organisations and manage the projects in the various countries.
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 2030 Agenda will replace the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, which defined development in developing and emerging nations for the period 2000 to 2015, and indeed go far beyond them.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Even though by 2015 efforts in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals had succeeded in halving starvation worldwide and, among other things, improving access to drinking water and education, almost 1.3 billion people live on less than 1.25 dollar a day. Other problems such as the overly great use of resources, ongoing climate change and the destruction of the environment, high unemployment and social inequality, likewise remain urgent.
The new September 2015 goals are intended to 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. From now on the idea is for there to be a “universal” agenda, in other words one applicable to all countries. The focus in the coming 15 years is on 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, social groups and the worlds of business and scholarship will play important roles in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.