Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

Member profile

The development policy of the Federal Republic of Germany is an independent area of German foreign policy. It is formulated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and carried out by the implementing organizations. The German government sees development policy as a joint responsibility of the international community, with Germany making effective and high-profile contributions. BMZ has pledged to take an active part in realizing the goals set out in the Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. The interdepartmental Program of Action 2015 is the German government’s principal instrument for implementing this pledge. This mutual - bilateral - form of cooperation with developing countries is direct and visible for everyone; it is the "face" of German development policy at home and abroad. Direct cooperation with partner countries offers Germany the chance to let other countries benefit from German skills and to learn in its turn.

Main activities

BMZ is guided by four principles:

  • reducing poverty worldwide;
  • protecting the natural environment;
  • building peace and realizing democracy; and
  • promoting equitable forms of globalization.

Germany concentrates on Africa, but other regions too can count on Germany as a reliable partner. The German government intends to raise the effectiveness of German development policy in keeping with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, through a clear international division of labor and good coordination with other donors. In the future, Germany will be concentrating cooperation on some 60 partner countries. The BMZ will continue to give other countries support under regional programmes or programmes dealing with specific sectors. In 17 countries, ongoing programmes will be completed as planned and bilateral development cooperation then brought to an end.

Links to the health workforce crisis

Securing health for people in the developing countries involves health, economic and social policies. Germany, therefore, endeavours, in collaboration with its partner countries, to develop strategies for strengthening their health systems. As a rule, these health systems suffer from a dearth of money and skills that hinder long-term health. Besides, access to health services of equal standard is often lacking regionally (equity aspect, pro-poor). Building an efficient health system requires time, flexibility and professional advice and depends to a large extent on a country's political culture, on the rule of law and anti-corruption and on respect for human rights. An international commitment in this field is very much in demand. In its development cooperation, BMZ always seeks to motivate partner countries to adopt fair, responsible policies geared to social peace. Key principles of the German health care system, such as solidarity and self-administration, have an important role to play when it comes to advising our partner countries.

The priorities of cooperation are as follows:

  • Support in elaborating health-policy strategies aligned with the economic and overall social conditions prevailing in that country;
  • Support in elaborating staff development plans, adapting frameworks and deploying experts on a temporary basis;
  • Strengthening the management, administrative and planning capacity of personnel in the health system;
  • Involve the public in decision-making on health and social policy;
  • Decentralize and create subsidiary structures; and
  • Establish social security systems (e.g. social health insurance).

BMZ joined the Alliance in 2009 as a development Partner.