The government is rethinking the way to assist the world’s poorest. Minister for Foreign Affairs Kristian Jensen presented a draft of the new development strategy at Denmark’s Political Festival, Folkemødet, in Bornholm.
The government is rethinking how we provide assistance to the world’s poorest. Minister for Foreign Affairs Kristian Jensen presented a draft of the new development strategy [in Danish] at Denmark’s Political Festival, Folkemødet, in Bornholm.
”Denmark’s development partnerships must be world-class. In a changing world, innovative thinking is necessary. We must involve businesses to a far greater extent and create economic freedom in the developing countries. We must not send passive assistance – we must make active investments,” says Kristian Jensen, continuing;
”We must use the public sector development money to get businesses, funds, organisations and knowledge environments with us out into the world. Development aid alone does not create jobs or sustainable growth in countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Bangladesh. These countries also need private investments. This is not something we have invented – it is their wish. And we are backing that up with the new strategy.”
Migration and refugees has already emerged as the greatest global challenge of the 21st century, and therefore these topics play a central role in the new strategy.
”Financial aid alone cannot solve the problems with refugees and migration, nor can we halt the movement of people solely by erecting high fences. We must simultaneously put into use many different instruments . We must improve living conditions in the neighbourhoods where the refugees live by offering better schooling for the children, more employment, better housing conditions, etc. And we must prevent migration through development, investments and trade – but also through cooperation on the return of migrants, if necessary through economic methods and pressure. It is absolutely crucial that this succeeds,” says Kristian Jensen.
One particular Danish key issue in the new strategy is to improve conditions for young people in the developing countries.
”The world’s young are the future of everyone. They are an enormous resource as entrepreneurs and as active members of society. But they need to find education and jobs locally, so that they can benefit their home countries rather than seek out a secure existence in Europe,” says Kristian Jensen, who has designated the efforts with young people as an unofficial 18th Global Goal.
The overall goal and platform for the government’s new strategy are the 17 Global Goals of wiping out poverty, ending hunger, promoting health, education, clean water, etc. The UN has set a price tag of between USD 1.9 and 3.1 billion annually for the next 15 years, if the goals are to be achieved. Today, the developed countries dedicate around 0.3 per cent of their total economies to the world’s poorest countries. If the UN’s calculations hold true, then four per cent should go to developing countries.
”This will not happen just by itself, which is why the involvement of the private sector is entirely necessary. Both for the developing countries, but also as a business opportunity for the companies. The Global Goals are also good business,” says Kristian Jensen.
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