Denmark's 4 development priorities

Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach unveiled Denmark’s new development cooperation strategy Tuesday (July 3). Photo by: Fabricio Barreto / U.N. Women / CC BY-NC-ND

Combating poverty, promoting human rights and stimulating growth are at the heart of Denmark’s new development cooperation strategy.

The new strategy, unveiled Tuesday (July 3), is “ambitious and full of optimism” but also “realistic,” Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach said. Africa will continue to be the main focus of its development cooperation.

Denmark’s four priority areas are: human rights and democracy, green growth, social progress, and stability and protection.

Human rights and democracy

Denmark aims to promote freedom of expression, good governance, transparency and accountability. It will strengthen the capacity of governments to manage public funds to fight corruption and deliver effective public service.

It also pledges to “work actively” to promote gender equality, reduce discrimination against women and ensure their reproductive rights as well as their right to own land.

“A country where women do not contribute to development on an equal footing with men is denying itself a valuable resource,” the document notes.

Green growth and social progress

Denmark will help increase developing countries’ income and production while at the same time ensure the proper use and sustainable management of natural resources.

Denmark will also work with various development actors to provide equal access to quality social services in developing countries, with a strong focus on health and education. It will support countries’ social sectors through budget support and multilateral interventions.

Stability and protection

Denmark aims to strengthen the capacity of countries to avoid conflicts, and will prioritize countries recovering from fragility. It will also strengthen the resilience of groups and communities, help prevent food insecurity through social protection schemes, and work to build stronger national and international disaster preparedness systems to mitigate the effects of a disaster.

Denmark also plans to channel support through regional and multilateral organizations working at the country level in fragile states to ensure coherence in policy and interventions.

Further, the European nation aims to seek partnerships with new development actors that share its common interests, engage the private sector to meet its objectives and focus efforts on poorest countries where it can “best” make a difference and achieve greater results.

Bach said successful development cooperation benefits not just people striving for a better life, but also Denmark. It provides peace, fewer refugees, new investments and opportunities, and combats crime and climate change.

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    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.