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Denmark’s participation in international development cooperation 2008

Danida’s annual report 2008

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Denmark’s participation in international development cooperation 2008

Danida’s annual report 2008


Denmark’s participation in international development cooperation 2008

You can read about Danida’s development assistance effort and its results in Danida’s Annual Report 2008.

The Annual Report is structured around the Government’s development assistance priorities and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. In articles, tables and figures, the Annual Report shows the way in which Danish development assistance works within these priority areas. In 2008 Denmark’s total development assistance amounted to DKK 14.47 billion.

A new feature in Danida’s Annual Report is an overview of cases where there has been suspicion of fraud and corruption with Danish development assistance funds.

Danida’s Annual Report consists of three elements:

The printed report, which also contains a report from the Danish Committee for Mixed Credits. Readers who would like more details can continue to the Program- og Projektorienteringen (PPO) which is available (in Danish) on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The PPO provides information about all programmes and projects irrespective of their size.

Film reports from the Africa Expedition, The Long Tough Trek. A journalist and a TV cameraman travelled through three countries in West Africa looking for and reporting home on the results and difficulties of Danish development cooperation. See the film reports from the expedition at

The Annual Report can be downloaded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and a printed version can be ordered at The PPO and The Long Tough Trek can be accessed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

Responsible institution:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

Other contributors:
Schultz Grafisk (Web) Joseph Mbatia Bertiers, thorupART (Photo)




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Key subjects:
development assistance, poverty, millennium development goals, programme countries, Africa, human rights, democratisation, emergency aid, environment, bilateral, multilateral, globalisation, refugees, terrorism, gender equality, mixed credits, target and

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

Table Of Contents


















Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla TørnæsBullet blue In many ways 2008 was characterised by crises. First, high food prices pushed many people into starvation and poverty and placed the progress being made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals in jeopardy. The high prices for food, combined with large increases in the prices of oil and other energy resources, hit the developing countries that are net importers of oil hard. Later in the year a global financial and economic crisis struck, which had serious consequences for the poorest countries. It is therefore especially important that we assume our share of the responsibility, and that is what the Government is doing. In 2008 Denmark maintained its position in the vanguard of international development cooperation, in terms of both quantity and quality.

Danish assistance increased in 2008 by USD 101.4 million, bringing the total assistance to USD 2.8 billion. This amounts to 0.82% of our gross national income – and makes Denmark one of only five countries in the world that exceeds the UN objective of 0.7 per cent.

But money alone is not enough. The Government places crucial importance on achieving results through Danish development assistance. The results of development assistance have therefore a central place in the annual report. We must be measured according to how good we are at combating poverty and realising the Millennium Development Goals and on our ability and commitment to cooperate. Results are best achieved through working in partnership towards realising mutual goals. The Government wants therefore international cooperation that is being continually strengthened and made more effective.

The effectiveness of development assistance was high on the agenda in 2008. With the adoption of the Accra Agenda for Action, Denmark and other like-minded countries succeeded in achieving a necessary strengthening of the framework for how we implement development assistance. The Accra Agenda for Action emphasises predictability, transparency and mutual responsibility and provides a good foundation for continuing the work of making development assistance more effective.

Africa continues to have a central place in Danish development policy. The Government has decided that 2/3 of bilateral development assistance is to be earmarked for Africa. The Government also established the Africa Commission in 2008. The Commission analysed the opportunities for strengthening the international development assistance to Africa, focusing on young people, employment and economic growth. The Commission comprised the key actors within the field of international development cooperation, with the majority of the members coming from Africa. On 6 May 2009 the Commission presented its recommendations and initiatives.

In 2008 the Government placed special focus on gender equality and UN Millennium Development Goal 3, ”Promote gender equality and empower women.” In 2008 Denmark took the initiative of launching the MDG3 Global Call to Action campaign, which, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon leading the way, received commitments from 100 Heads of Government, representatives of international organisations, the private sector and civil society to do something extra in the effort towards achieving gender equality.

The challenges associated with climate change are greater than ever, and the poorest countries are once again the most vulnerable, even though these are the same countries that bear the least responsibility for the man-made changes to the climate. In 2008 even greater focus was placed on climate proofing Danish development assistance in order to make developing countries better able to cope with climate change as well as to ensure greater inclusion of the poorest countries in the negotiations leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference, COP15, in Copenhagen.

Finally, I would like to highlight our effort in Afghanistan. Together with the Afghans and the international community, Denmark is contributing to the growth of a stable and more developed Afghanistan, which can assume responsibility for its own security, continue developing democratically and foster respect for human rights. We assume responsibility for this effort, even though we are operating under difficult conditions.

Through its development policy, the Government assumes responsibility for assisting with global development and growth, human rights and security. This is in our own interest as well as in the interest of our partner countries.

Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs

Pictures from the report



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Calculated according to bilateral disbursements for Section 06.3 and Section 06.11.19, excluding disbursements for debt relief. Danish bilateral assistance 2008 additionally includes disbursements to JPOs in multilateral organisations (Section as well as assistance to the Middle East provided through the IBRD (Section


Bullet blue Danida’s Annual Report 2008 provides information on Danish development assistance and the results achieved through the assistance. With combating extreme poverty as a primary objective, Danish development assistance is to contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on a global basis.

Emphasis on joint results

The annual report examines therefore the outcomes achieved through Danish development assistance within each of the eight MDGs. In each chapter the status on achieving the individual goals is examined, along with the ways in which Danish development assistance has contributed to achieving these results. The results and lessons learned are illustrated through concrete examples. After the eight chapters on the Millennium Goals, a chapter on human rights and democracy, peace and stability is included, which describes important initiatives that cannot be placed directly under any of the specific MDGs.

It is important to emphasise the fact that Danish development assistance today is a single part of a greater whole. The best results are achieved through development assistance that is part of a cooperative effort between donor and recipient countries, but also between the donors themselves.

The Millennium Development Goals

Illustration: The Millennium Development Goals

  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

Demark harmonises its development assistance with other donors, aligns it to the development plans of the recipient countries and ensures that it can work within the systems of these countries. Lessons learned have shown that this is the most effective way of providing assistance that is sustainable over the long-term.

Harmonising and aligning assistance is also part of our commitment as set out in the Paris Declaration. The Declaration, which is intended to increase the effectiveness of development assistance, was adopted by over 100 donor countries, recipient countries and international organisations in 2005.

International cooperation, harmonisation and alignment result in better and more effective development assistance. They also benefit the end-recipients, the vulnerable people in the world’s poorest countries, and ensure that the efforts are rooted in the partner countries.

Previously, it was more common for each donor to support specific projects, which were not always equally well coordinated with the local political structures or with other donors. This type of assistance made it easy to track development funds from disbursement through to the conclusion of, for instance, the construction of a school. However, it did not always ensure, for example, that there were funds to provide.

Because assistance today consists to a greater degree of contributions to coordinated joint programmes or to budget support that is channelled through the public systems of the recipient countries, it is, to a greater extent, necessary to determine what we have achieved in partnership with other donors and programme countries. This makes it difficult, however for the individual donors to follow their own money, and it creates challenges in terms of measuring the results of Danish development assistance.

New in the annual report for 2008

The annual report for 2008 focuses on the goals and results of Danish development assistance, with a critical eye on our own capacity. The annual report describes the dilemmas and difficulties involved in development cooperation by, for example, including commentaries from external partners.

Ultimately though, it is the results that count: Is poverty being reduced? Are more children able to read and write? Is health being improved? Are economic growth and sustainable development being created?

The Millennium Development Goals, formulated and adopted in partnership by the Member States of the UN, are an attempt to identify the results of a joint effort. This is the background for why Danida is reporting this year on how Danish development assistance contributes to achieving the joint Millennium Development Goals instead of attempting to isolate the results of Danish assistance.

In the bone-dry areas in northern Burkina Faso, the temperature climbs to over 45 degrees. Safe drinking water from deep wells is absolutely crucial for the survival of people and animals. The pump pictured here is from a Danish-financed project.

In the bone-dry areas in northern Burkina Faso, the temperature climbs to over 45 degrees. Safe drinking water from deep wells is absolutely crucial for the survival of people and animals. The pump pictured here is from a Danish-financed project.

Photo: Bo Simonsen/Danida

Find more information at (in Danish only)

Danish development cooperation is comprehensive and complex. In the printed version of the report, there is only space to include the main issues, the key events, illustrative examples and the overall figures.

Detailed information regarding specific activities is available in Danish at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website under Program- og Projektorienteringen (The Programme and Project Brief – PPO). Information is available at this site about the goals, results and status of Danish supported programmes and projects, humanitarian cases and NGO projects. The address is

At the same address, under the title ”Nytter bistanden” (Does development assistance make a difference), reports are available in Danish on Danish development assistance that show good, measurable results, along with stories about assistance that never came to anything due to, among other reasons, corruption, fraud or programmes where, for other reasons, we did not achieve the intended objectives.

At the website, news can also be found about Danish development assistance, strategies for the Danish cooperation with Africa, Asia and Latin America, information on quality control of development assistance, humanitarian aid, commercial development, evaluation, technical assistance advisory services, the environment as well as relations to the UN and other international organisations and institutions and much more. The Danish Missions abroad also have their own websites where abundant information can be found on, among other things, development cooperation.

Check also, which is Danida’s website (in Danish) for children and young people, providing answers to questions such as ”What is development assistance?” and ”Does Danish development assistance help?” as well as a giving a glimpse of the real world by clicking on “Kom til sagen” (Get to the case).

The structure of the annual report

Of course, Danish assistance can, for administrative purposes, still be broken down according to the various forms of development

 assistance, which are also distributed among various sectors and among the crosscutting issues. However, the annual report for 2008 is instead structured according to the world’s jointly-adopted Millennium Development Goals. Unlike previous years, this does not reflect Denmark’s administrative classification of the funds spent on development assistance work. This distribution does, however, still apply for the majority of the statistics that are included in the annual report.

As something new, the annual report includes commentaries from some of the Foreign Ministry’s cooperation partners. Danish development assistance is well known and respected for being among the best in the world. However, there is, naturally, room for improvement. The Foreign Ministry welcomes ideas, constructive comments and opposing points of view – in the annual report as well.

Moreover, the annual report contains an overview of completed cases where there has been a suspicion of fraud involving Danish assistance funds. This overview is included because it is extremely important that there is a level of transparency regarding the risks that are connected with providing development assistance.

The reporting from the Mixed Credit Scheme, through which Denmark offers interest-free loans in order to finance equipment deliveries in developing countries, is an integrated part of Danida’s Annual Report.

Furthermore, the annual report contains a brief analysis of each of the 16 programme countries and Afghanistan.


View the picture in full size

View the picture in full size

View the picture in full size

The expedition ”The Long Tough Trek” has reached Benin. The video-narratives from the expedition can be seen at

The expedition ”The Long Tough Trek” has reached Benin. The video-narratives from the expedition can be seen at
Photo: Bo Simonsen/Danida

The Africa expedition: The long tough trek

A journalist and a TV cameraman travel through three countries in West Africa in order to report back to Denmark on the results achieved through Danish development cooperation, as well as the challenges that are involved.

The expedition passes through some of the poorest countries in the world. Close to the equator, changes in the global climate have given new meaning to the expression “extreme weather,” and the international financial crisis can be felt way out here between the baobab trees. How does Danish development cooperation make a difference?

Keep up-to-date with the ongoing series “Det lange seje trek” (The Long Tough Trek) at (Danish only

Finally, the annual report includes figures and statistics that can be used for reference purposes and that make it possible to compare the development assistance with the assistance from previous years. Some of the figures, as well as a list of abbreviations, brief explanations of the various forms of development assistance, members of councils and boards, etc. are collected at the end of the report.

This document is a translation from Danish of Danida’s Annual Report from 2008. The text is primarily written for Danish readers. The statistical tables follow definitions used for domestic Danish purposes and do not necessarily conform with definitions used by the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD. The English version of the Annual Report constitutes the Danish 2008 memorandum to DAC.

With a few exceptions all amounts in Danish Kroner have been converted into US dollars at the rate prescribed by DAC: USD 1 = DKK
5.1675. Due to exchange rate fluctuations and the fact that most commitments are made in DKK, the dollar amounts in the report may differ from the amounts actually transferred. Where amounts refer to former years, the DAC-rate for that year has been used.



kofi agorsor, ghana: watermelon.

kofi agorsor, ghana: watermelon.
photo: thorupart



  • Halve the number of the people in the world living on less than a dollar a day by 2015.
  • Halve the number of the people in the world suffering from hunger by 2015.
  • Achieve full and productive employment for all, including women and young people.

Global status according to the UN

  • 1.4 billion people live on less than one dollar a day. The proportion has been reduced from almost 1/3 of the world’s population in 1990 to 19 per cent in 2004.
  • Large regional differences exist. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region that has the highest percentage of people living in extreme poverty. However, due to the large population, the number of people living in extreme poverty is still higher in Asia.
  • 907 million people in the world suffer from chronic hunger. A decreasing percentage of the world’s population suffers from hunger, but the total number of people suffering from hunger is rising due to the world’s growing population.
  • The large increases in food prices in 2008 caused the number of people living in extreme poverty to grow by an estimated 100 million – particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Denmark’s strategic priorities

  • Combating poverty is the fundamental goal for all of Denmark’s development activities, i.e. for all country programmes, strategies and other initiatives.
  • The specific work involved in combating poverty is carried out through national development or poverty strategies formulated by the governments of the countries.
  • Fostering democracy and respect for human rights is a crosscutting issue of all Danish development assistance.
  • Consideration for the environment is integrated into all Danish assistance programmes.
  • Focus on women’s access to and control over resources. Promoting equal opportunities for women and men to achieve economic influence.
  • Agricultural and business sector development with a view to creating economic growth and employment are important priorities in Denmark’s efforts to combat poverty.
  • Emergency aid relieves acute hunger and distress in areas of crisis.

The world can probably achieve the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on halving extreme poverty and hunger globally from the 1990 level by 2015. However, Africa is lagging behind, and it is unlikely that the continent will meet the goal. The serious consequences of the high food prices and the economic and financial crisis in 2008 illustrate how vulnerable the results for this goal can be. Combating poverty is the foundation for all Danish development assistance.

Bullet blue The UN and other organisations take stock of the progress being made in achieving MDG 1 by reporting on the development in economic poverty. However, poverty is not just a question of economics. Poverty is also about people’s access to health, nutrition, political freedom, social rights, security, etc. If the world is to eliminate extreme poverty, development within a wide range of areas is necessary. Denmark works therefore with a broad understanding of poverty which includes both the political and social aspects of combating poverty. conflict and poor governance are among the most difficult challenges for development.

Achieving MDG 1 is dependent on the overall development effort and the work towards achieving all eight Millennium Development Goals. For example, Goal 3 on gender equality is extremely important, among other reasons because women account for far more than half of the people in the world who are living in extreme poverty, and because women constitute a huge unutilised potential for development (read more about gender equality in the chapter on MDG 3 on page 25).

The Africa Commission – better ability to compete, less dependence on assistance

Bullet blue A number of concrete initiatives that can help Africa on its way. That was the result of the midway meeting of the Africa Commission held in Addis Ababa in November 2008. All the initiatives aim to improve job opportunities for young African women and men. In 2009 the Commission will present its final conclusions on how the initiatives are to be realised.

Photo: The Africa Commission/Guy Calaf

Photo: The Africa Commission/Guy Calaf

The Africa Commission is among Denmark’s biggest development policy undertakings ever. Job creation and combating poverty cannot be accomplished without a significant expansion and strengthening of the private sector in Africa. We wish to see the African countries break free from aid dependency.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen,
then Chairmen of the African Commission

The African Commission must seek new and creative ways to bring new life and inspiration to the international development work with Africa. Almost half of the population of Africa is under 25. The young people of Africa must be the motor that drives development on the continent. Africa has a great many ambitious, enterprising young people, but the opportunities for entrepreneurs are incredibly limited. For example, in many countries it is almost impossible to secure the financing to start a business.

The Commission will, among other things, establish a guarantee facility that will make it possible for small and medium-sized enterprises to gain access to the crucial financing. Instead of simply assisting individuals in finding meaningful employment, support must go to the initiatives that will create ten or maybe 100 jobs for young Africans.

The young people are tired of seeing their leaders simply exchange handshakes. It is time for action – and Africa’s youth must play a part.

The Africa Commission’s Youth Panel

The agricultural sector employs by far the majority of the workforce in the poorest African countries and has a particularly large potential for value growth, increased production and job creation. Agriculture has, therefore, a high priority among the African Commission’s initiatives.

The majority of the members of the Commission come from Africa. The members are Heads of State, politicians, experts, business people, academics and representatives of international organisations.

The Commission was launched in April 2008 in Copenhagen, and an important midway meeting took place in Addis Ababa in November. Throughout the course of 2008, the Commission held five thematic conferences in Africa. Before the Commission holds its final and concluding meeting in May 2009, three workshops will be held as a part of the effort to make the five main initiatives operational.

The work of the African Commission can be followed at

Denmark’s development effort is based on the fundamental criterion that it must contribute to combating poverty. Denmark’s total development assistance in 2008 was USD 2.8 billion or 0.82 per cent of GNI.

A decisive factor in the selection of Denmark’s 16 programme countries is the level of poverty in the country. The focus on poverty also applies to the multilateral development cooperation. Denmark’s largest contribution in 2008 went to community-financed EU assistance and assistance to the European Development Fund (EDF), the International Development Association (IDA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which all focus on poverty. Denmark chooses which organisations to support and also determines the size of the contributions based on an assessment of the organisation in terms of both effectiveness and their efforts in relation to combating poverty.

Danish assistance goes first and foremost to building up capacity in the developing countries, i.e. assisting local cooperation partners with knowledge and the ability to take responsibility for the development in the countries.

The initiatives include a number of sectors and involve both public authorities and local actors, in keeping with the principles outlined in the Paris Declaration (see page 47). Thus, it is about national ownership of development. Denmark’s support is to help people help themselves.

Denmark continues to focus more on Africa

Throughout recent years, the focus of Danish assistance has, to an increasing degree, been focused on Sub-Saharan Africa and Denmark’s most important assistance initiative in 2008 was the establishment of the Africa Commission. The Government’s objective is for 2/3 of bilateral assistance to go to Africa. In 2008 this accounted for 61 per cent.

That Denmark’s focus is the correct one was confirmed at the UN High-Level meeting in New York in September 2008. At this meeting a midway evaluation was made of the efforts aimed at achieving the MDGs. It was apparent that the weak development experienced in many countries in Africa is a negative factor in the global progress towards achieving the goals. Some of the goals are becoming more difficult to achieve on a global basis, and in many African countries no progress at all is being made in reaching many of the goals.

This sad fact overshadows much of the significant progress that has actually occurred in other parts of the world. For example, economic growth in China has lifted millions of people out of extreme poverty. However, despite the significant progress that has taken place, problems relating to extreme poverty are far from being solved outside of Africa. The total number of people living in extreme poverty is actually higher in Asia than in Africa due to the far higher population. It is, however, believed that the majority of the countries in Asia are far better prepared to create development.

The goal of development cooperation is to make development assistance unnecessary. Long-term positive development in a programme country means therefore that Denmark gradually phases out the assistance. In 2008, after many years of preparation, Denmark phased out Egypt as a programme country, and a phasing-out process will also take place in Bhutan and Vietnam within a few years. A gradual reduction in assistance to countries that can, to an increasing degree, take responsibility for their own development frees up resources for the absolutely poorest countries.

The food crisis became the poverty crisis

Food prices rose dramatically in 2008, creating an actual food crisis. The rising prices for food struck families living in extreme poverty in Africa and southern Asia particularly hard.

The food crisis led to a renewed focus on agriculture in developing countries. The close link between food and extreme poverty was highlighted by the fact that there actually was enough food available in 2008 on a global level. However, the buying power of many people throughout the world was insufficient due to the high prices. Therefore, it is just as appropriate to talk about a poverty crisis as it is to talk about a food crisis.

In 2008 the food situation led to an increased awareness among donors, including Denmark, of the importance of the agricultural sector. The high prices also led to a number of concrete Danish initiatives.

In order to ensure coherence in the assistance effort, the Government established a cross-ministerial task force on the food situation. The task force began its work in 2008 by mapping out the challenges and possible responses to the global food situation, including responses that fell outside the sphere of development assistance.

In the spring of 2008 Denmark led the way in the EU to ensure a swift and significant reaction to the food situation. With Danish support, the EU adopted a proposal to establish a EURO 1 billion Food Facility, which is to provide support to the developing countries that have been hit by the food situation. The Facility is to provide economic incentives to increase food production through support for, among other things, fertiliser and seed grain. It can also be used to support the most vulnerable population groups’ need for basic food items.

Denmark similarly decided to increase its multilateral support to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) by 25 per cent to a total of USD 14.5 million over the next three years. IFAD supports the development of agriculture and food production for the poorest people in the world.

Agriculture is the future in Mali

Cotton field being harvested in the Malawian village of Famana.

Cotton field being harvested in the Malawian village of Famana.
Photo: Klaus Holsting/Danida

Bullet Yellow In an extremely poor country such as Mali, the agricultural sector plays an absolutely central role in terms of development. Eight out of nine Malians are employed in agriculture, the majority of them on small family farms. Malian farmers work the land during the three months of the year when it rains. During the rest of the year, the ground is bone dry in most locations. Through Danish support to the agricultural sector, Mali is now working to modernise agriculture with a focus specifically on these farmers:

”Through Danish support, we can help farmers improve productivity. We can also develop new types of crops that are more robust in our climate and provide better guidance in their use.” This was the message of Mahamadou Coulibaly, who is Deputy Head of the Department of Agricultural Development in the Malian Ministry of Agriculture.

Agriculture has traditionally been dominated by cotton production, which is also responsible for approximately 30% of Mali’s export revenue. However, world market prices are low and the Malian Government wants to modernise agriculture and develop a more versatile production in order to provide better food security and promote economic growth in the country through stable employment and income for the rural population.

Irrigation is among the areas targeted by the efforts to modernise agricultural production. Irrigation will mean that larger areas of land can be used for growing crops for longer periods of the year. Production needs to increase and a wider variety of crops must therefore be grown. Cattle and milk production and fishing must also be modernised. Access to markets must be improved so that the farmers can sell more. A greater proportion of the crops that are grown need to be processed locally so that the money stays in the local community. Training and educational programmes need to be developed for farmers and farming organisations, and other interest groups must be strengthened.

Danish support to the agricultural sector involves all of these areas and must act in close coordination with the assistance for promoting employment, development within the private sector and technical education and training targeted at meeting the needs of the agricultural sector. At the same time, extensive support is provided to small and medium-sized private enterprises that can expand and enhance small processing groups devoted to agricultural production.

”Danish assistance targets farmers in rural areas and does not go to expensive international consultants only,” says Mahamadou Coulibaly.

by Henrik Stubkjær

Bullet red ”The fight against extreme poverty and starvation is the greatest global challenge for the world community. In 2008 more than 100 million additional people became vulnerable to starvation as a result of the four major crises: food, finance, energy and climate change. Over one billion people are now suffering from hunger and Henrik Stubkjærstarvation, and another two billion are suffering from malnutrition and undernourishment. At the same time, the results of the global fight against poverty have not been as good as anticipated. A total of 1.4 billion people live in absolute poverty. Poverty and hunger have thus become a ticking bomb under all the progress that has been achieved within the other Millennium Development Goals.

The challenges are enormous. The global levels of development assistance are falling drastically, the global trade negotiations have stalled and the ambitions regarding tackling climate change challenges are insufficient. Denmark must therefore create a greater level of awareness and action before the latent hunger crises develop into true catastrophes. Many food and hunger crises could actually be avoided through a combination of timely warnings and long-term food programmes. With Millennium Development Goal 1 in mind, it is difficult to understand why the Africa Commission does not prioritise a special effort aimed at African agriculture in rural districts and why Denmark is, in actuality, reducing the direct support to agricultural development in the existing country programmes.”

Henrik Stubkjær,
Secretary-General, DanChurchAid


Progress in African countries is being slowed by the fi
nancial and economic crisis

Bullet blue Many people are of the opinion that Sub-Saharan Africa is lagging hopelessly behind in terms of global development. Although many of the poverty indicators are extremely negative, at the same time there are also indications that a number of countries are undergoing positive economic development. Increasing investment in the continent led to an average growth in GNP of around 5.4 per cent in 2008. 2008 was thus the fourth year in a row in which the region experienced a growth in GNP of more than 5 per cent.

Individual countries have had high rates of growth over a long number of years. Apart from South Africa, these countries include, for example, Ghana and Uganda. Even an extremely poor country such as Mali, which does not possess any natural resources of significance, has succeeded in creating constant growth over a longer period of time. What the African countries with the most positive development have in common is a lengthy period of political stability.

The positive development has meant that Denmark has begun a process in which development assistance in the future will go to programmes that focus more broadly on creating economic growth through such things as agriculture, micro-finances or infrastructure. In a broader perspective, Denmark tries, together with its partners, to identify the barriers to economic development within the frameworks of the countries’ own development plans. This is the case, for example, in Ghana, Uganda and Mali.

The positive economic development in Africa is, however, threatened by the global financial and economic crisis, which is expected to strike a number of countries extremely hard. Analyses show that millions of jobs may be lost, and this can threaten stability in many countries. Gloomy prognoses for the future warn of falling prices for raw materials, fewer remittances from Africans living abroad and the prospect of less development assistance.

In contrast to the West, Africa cannot afford bank and growth packages, and there is a risk that the otherwise promising development in many countries will be lost. Thus, it is crucial that action is taken to limit the negative consequences of the crisis. Basically, this means ensuring growth and creating employment. Denmark has very clearly promoted this focus in its work with the Africa Commission.

Read more about Africa’s economic development at

There are signs of positive economic development in a number of African countries. For example, Africa is the fastest growing market in the world for mobile phones. Shown here is a businessman in Ghana.

There are signs of positive economic development in a number of African countries. For example, Africa is the fastest growing market in the world for mobile phones. Shown here is a businessman in Ghana.

Photo: Klaus Holsting/Danida.

Additionally, Denmark has agricultural programmes in 11 of the 16 programme countries. The programmes in Kenya and Tanzania are in the process of being phased out, but within the business sector programmes there will still be a focus on creating growth and employment in the agricultural sector. Relevant activities continue therefore under the business sector programmes, while other activities are being continued by other donors as a part of an increased division of labour in keeping with the objectives of the Paris Declaration. It is not important if it is Denmark or another donor that supports the agricultural sector in a given country, as long the total inflow of funds is sufficient.

The division of labour makes it difficult to assess whether or not the donors as a whole actually raise or lower the priority of the agricultural sector in developing countries. This uncertainty led to a public debate in the wake of the food crisis about whether or not the agricultural sector was receiving enough support. The discussions in the Africa Commission have, therefore, focused to a great extent on fostering growth and employment in the agricultural sector in Africa.

The food situation also affected Denmark’s humanitarian assistance efforts. Denmark provided over USD 19.4 million in grants as a targeted response to the food crises. For example, extra grants went to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Food Programme (WFP). Moreover, Denmark provided direct disbursements to Afghanistan and southern Africa, including Zimbabwe. Another grant went to the Horn of Africa, which, as a result of years of drought, has been especially hard hit by the food situation (find out more about the emergency aid efforts in the chapter on Democracy, Human Rights, Peace and Stability on page 51).

Danish bilateral assistance to agriculture

Graph: Danish bilateral assistance to agriculture

A farmer ploughing his field in Guatemala.

A farmer ploughing his field in Guatemala.
Photo: Jørgen Schytte/Danida.

Vouchers help Ugandans become self-suffi

Bullet Yellow In the summer of 2006 almost half the population in the Oyam district of North Uganda lived in camps for internally displaced people. Today only 5 per cent of the population are still living in the camps. With Danish help, passive recipients of emergency aid have become self-sufficient.

The people had sought refuge in the camps due to the many years of fighting between government troops and the insurgency forces of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The people are now returning to their land, and Denmark is helping them resettle.

The method is simple: the local population are hired to rebuild the infrastructure of the area. The work is paid for with vouchers that can only be used for buying agriculture-related items such as seed grain, fertiliser and tools and equipment.

Secondary roads are reopened, forests are planted with trees, wells are reopened, demonstration fields are set up, etc. At the same time, the vouchers ensure that the local people invest their wages in expanding agricultural production.

The target group for the vouchers is poor farmers who want to return to their land in order to resume and modernise farming. At least half of the recipients are women. Danish support has ensured a livelihood for almost 27,000 families who were previously passive recipients of emergency aid.

The programme contributes to the Ugandan Government’s overall peace and development plan for North Uganda.

Women carrying firewood along a road that was re-established under the Danish-supported programme and paid for with vouchers.

Women carrying firewood along a road that was re-established under the Danish-supported programme and paid for with vouchers.
Photo: Danida.



  • Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary education.

Global status according to the UN

  • 88 per cent of all children and young people in developing countries receive a primary school education, as opposed to 80 per cent in 1990.
  • On a global basis, 75 million children do not attend school. According to the most recent projections, more than 29 million children will still not be receiving a primary school education in 2015.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa, 29 per cent of children and young people do not receive a primary school education. This is down from 46 per cent in 1990.
  • Girls account for 55 per cent of the children who do not attend school, and girls are at greater risk of never receiving an education.

Denmark’s strategic priorities

  • Direct support to the education sector in eight programme countries as well as Afghanistan and Sudan.
  • Special focus on support to primary education in Africa.
  • Ensure that girls receive and complete a primary school education.
  • Ensure secondary education.



The world has made great strides in the effort to ensure universal primary education. The progress has taken place in some of the poorest countries in the world such as Ethiopia and Tanzania. Nevertheless, projections show that the world will not achieve the goal for 2015 due to, among other things, cultural and economic barriers, such as differential treatment of girls and boys and poverty.

Bullet blue The right of girls and women to receive an education is a special priority for Danish development work. The Danish focus on this topic has received international attention and has, for example, led to Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs being named “Global Champion” in 2008 by UNGEI, the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative. This was done in recognition of the Danish efforts for gender equality and the Minister’s strong commitment to the cause. A commitment to be an advocate for the equal right of girls to receive an education as well as to represent UNGEI globally and regionally goes along with the title. Gender equality in education will continue to be a special priority for Denmark in 2009.

There are strong development policy arguments and convincing research-based documentation for focusing specifically on gender equality in education. Educated women have fewer children and can take better care of the children they do have. For example, studies from Asia show that children of mothers who have completed a primary school education have a 25 per cent lower risk of suffering lasting harm as a result of undernourishment.

Educated women are also good at creating growth and development. A study of farming families in Kenya documents the fact that more education means higher agricultural production. The effect of education was 22 per cent greater for women than for men.

Even though the situation has improved over the last 20 years, more boys than girls still attend school in large parts of Africa and Asia. Out of 176 countries that UNESCO has investigated, only 59 have been successful in providing girls and boys with equal access to primary education. Girls are being held back, among other reasons, because of cultural norms that place greater weight on education for boys and early marriage. In many countries, girls are kept at home in order to help out with the housework. Girls from poor families are especially hard hit. Part of the problem can be alleviated through economic incentives, for example through development assistance. However, the cultural barriers must also be changed.

Denmark builds schools for Palestinian refugee children in Syria

Palestinian children in the Yarmouk refugee camp celebrate the construction of their new school with classroom space for 2,500 students.

Palestinian children in the Yarmouk refugee camp celebrate the construction of their new school with classroom space for 2,500 students.
Photo: Danida.

Bullet Yellow On 9 July 2008 Denmark cut the first sod for the construction of a new school for Palestinian refugee children. The school is being built on the outskirts of Damascus in Syria’s largest refugee camp, Yarmouk, which is home to more than 50,000 Palestinian children. One of them is 15-year-old Ahmad Al-Shehabi. He is looking forward to starting in the new school:

”I have dreamt of going to a school like this one,” says Ahmad. ”I’ll have the opportunity to work with new computers and with multimedia, and most important of all, we’ll have a large, new classroom. I want to be a doctor, and I am certain that the new school will help me realise my dream.”

Teacher Mahmoud Tamim is also looking forward to having a new and modern school to replace the current one. Besides being old and overcrowded, the current school lacks basic teaching equipment and a schoolyard to play in.

”The biggest problem is the fact that our school building is very old, about 60 years old. At the moment, there are more than 50 students in each classroom, and this makes it very difficult to teach and to keep the children’s attention,” says Mahmoud Tamim.

Approximately 2,500 children will attend the new school, which is being financed by a Danish contribution of USD 1 million and in partnership with the UN aid organisation for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. The new computer facilities will, moreover, be made available to all of the camp’s almost 30 schools.

Ten education programmes totalling 387 million

Denmark has ongoing education programmes with grants totalling slightly more than USD 387 million in eight programme countries as well as in Afghanistan and Sudan. The two largest programmes are in Mozambique and Nepal. In Nepal, Denmark supports a programme for primary and secondary education. One goal of the programme is to reduce the level of gender inequality in the education programmes and ensure that there are more female teachers. Denmark is providing USD
94.2 million in the period 2004-2009. In Mozambique, Denmark is providing USD 108.4 million between 2002 and 2011. The money is going to, among other things, teacher training and HIV/AIDS education programmes.

All of the programmes focus on the long-term building up of the education sectors in the countries, in some places from a very low level. This is the case, for example, in Afghanistan, where the education sector in a great deal of the country needs to be rebuilt almost from scratch after the fall of the Taliban regime.

Schoolgirls in Bolivia.

Attention. Schoolgirls in Bolivia.
Photo: Mike Kollöffel/Danida.

by Farooq Wardak: Our people expect us to deliver the goods

Bullet red Afghanistan is struggling to rebuild itself – as a nation and as a people. Our country was virtually in ruins in 2001, when the Taliban were ousted from power. The biggest effect was in the education sector, because at the end we were short of teachers, educational administrators and even officials at the Ministry.

Forced to start from that, we are proud of what we have achieved since then – more than 6 million children, including 2 million girls, going to school is a tremendous achievement by any standards. And starting from practically nothing and setting up 11,000 schools is another. We are trying our best to respond to the expectations of this country - the people of Afghanistan expect their government to deliver – they want their children in school now, not in some distant future when enough capacity and infrastructure has been built by the Ministry of Education to tutor them.

We are “fighting on two fronts”. We are struggling to cater to the immediate needs – e.g., build thousands of schools and provide millions of school-books – while building our own capacity and systems required to run the education sector and ensure its sustainability. This concept of immediate needs and (not versus) long term requirements is the cornerstone of our plans for the future.

Most donors to this Ministry have tackled one or the other – they are paying for projects that will tackle emergency needs or long term requirements – and this is born out of their own imperatives. Very few donors, and Danida is the first among them, have consciously recognised and supported the Ministry in the implementation of this two prongedFarooq Wardak strategy and made it an integral part of their own strategy.

Danida is our primary partner in printing of school-books while at the same time providing invaluable support to the Ministry as a whole through capacity building measures and advisory services in key areas such as financial management, procurement and civil service reforms. We are happy at the fact that only Danida and its advisors have engaged very closely with the Ministry, working alongside the Ministry as a real partner and helping to solve the complex issues that have emerged during implementation.

Farooq Wardak is Minister for Education in Afghanistan

Girls in Benin attending school instead of fetching water

In Zou County in Benin, more children began attending school after the introduction of free lunches and when the water supply was improved.

In Zou County in Benin, more children began attending school after the introduction of free lunches and when the water supply was improved.
Photo: Bo Simonsen/Danida

Bullet Yellow Ten-year-old Hortense attends a school that has an equal number of boys and girls. This is unusual in Benin, where girls account for only 45 per cent of the students in the lower grades and only 36 per cent of the students in grades seven to ten. As a part of the Danish support to Benin’s national education sector plan, Denmark has, since 2005, provided economic support for school meals at the lower grades and for payment of tuition for girls in grades 7- 10 in the county of Zou in order to promote female school attendance. In the last three years the number of girls in grade levels 7-10 has increased by 72 per cent in Zou as opposed to 22 per cent nationally.

Hortense is happy to be going to school. She has learned to read and write, and when she grows up she would like to be either a schoolteacher or a headmistress so that she can pass on her knowledge to others. For Hortense, school is a refuge from her home, which she associates with work and chores.

Apart from assisting with tuition and providing meals at school, improved access to clean water means a great deal to the girls who attend school. It makes it easier for the parents to fetch water and do the washing up, so they do not need to keep the children at home. Often it is the girls who benefit from these new opportunities. Thus, the effort to provide access to clean water is also an effort to increase the level of education for girls.

Danida has provided support to improving the supply of water to rural villages in Benin since 1992. Slightly more than USD 1.6 million has been spent on building a total of 3,350 water pumps and wells. The initiative has provided safe drinking water to around 830,000 people. In those places where the water supply is located close to a school, it has another advantage: children do not have to go all the way home to get something to drink in the middle of the day. Once the children go home, they do not very often return to school because it is such a long way to walk.

Read more at the Embassy’s website at

Education reforms for 1.4 billion

Denmark also prioritises education very highly in its multilateral assistance. On 1 July 2008 Denmark assumed the co-chairmanship of the Education for All – Fast Track Initiative (FTI) together with Japan. Denmark will hold this post until 30 June 2009 and will use the position to place a stronger focus on education for girls in developing countries. FTI is a cooperative effort between donor countries and 35 developing countries. It was created in 2002 in order to mobilise resources for achieving the MDG on children’s access to primary education.

FTI is comprised of a number of funds, the largest of which totals USD 1.3 billion. In 2008 Denmark contributed USD 16.4 million to the fund. The Danish chairmanship will strive to ensure that the disbursements from the fund target strengthening the education level of girls in developing countries. Specifically, this means that reducing the gender disparity is to be emphasised in the countries’ education sector plans.

FTI has already contributed to achieving a number of results. On average, more children attend schools in FTI member countries than in other low-income countries. In 15 out of 35 member countries, an equal number of girls and boys attend school, while the disparity has been significantly reduced in six other FTI countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

FTI is based on the principles of the Paris Declaration regarding providing more effective assistance (see page 47). The aim is to provide support for the education strategies of the recipient countries and promote a coordinated effort between donor countries and developing countries.

FTI is a pivotal element of Denmark’s multilateral initiatives targeting education. Apart from the contribution to FTI, Denmark also provided USD 34.8 million to UNICEF in 2008, a small portion of which goes to education, and USD 3.9 million to UNESCO.

23 million textbooks

Bullet blue All children in Afghanistan must have access to primary education. But how can MDG2 be realised in a fragile state like Afghanistan, where both conflict and extreme poverty stand in the way? Danish lessons learned indicate that it is about being ambidextrous.

The one hand supports Afghanistan’s own plans and strategies in the education sector. This often involves taking care of quite immediate needs, such as printing textbooks and starting up new schools. In 2008 Denmark provided support for, among other things, printing 23 million new primary school textbooks, which were distributed in 2008 and the beginning of 2009. The goal is to introduce a modern curriculum in Afghan primary schooling based on values that are in accordance with national and international standards. In fall 2008 agreement was also reached on Danish support to build nine schools and two halls of residence in Helmand Province, where Danish soldiers are deployed and Denmark is leading the international education effort.

The other hand is needed to support building up the Ministry of Education’s capacity within, among other things, financial management and personnel reforms. This involves a long-term and systematic effort to strengthen the central administration, which is responsible for formulating and implementing Afghanistan’s education strategy with the assistance of international donors.

The approach appears to be a success, based on feedback from the Ministry of Education, which especially emphasises the fact that Denmark works within the framework of Afghanistan’s own strategies and supports the long-term build up of capacity in administration. In 2008 Denmark evaluated the effort and the conclusion was positive. The Ministry’s ability to implement the education strategy has greatly improved, and approximately 10 per cent more children attended school in 2008. There are, however, drawbacks. In the effort to build up capacity, the Afghan government has brought both foreigners and exiled Afghans into the state apparatus. They come from well-paid positions in the western world and command high salaries. In the longer-term, it will be necessary to ensure the capacity of the Ministry at a more sustainable salary level.

Read more at:





  • Eliminate gender disparity in primary schools by 2005.
  • Eliminate gender disparity at all levels of education no later than 2015.
  • Promote gender equality in the business sector and in national assemblies.

Global status according to the UN

  • 113 countries did not manage to meet the target regarding gender equality in primary education in 2005. Only 18 of these countries are expected to reach the target by 2015.
  • Women account for 40 per cent of the workforce in the agricultural sector. 2/3 of women in developing countries have insecure and poorly paid jobs or are unpaid family workers.
  • The proportion of women in national parliaments has increased from 13.5 per cent to 18 per cent since 2000.

Denmark’s strategic priorities

  • Promote equal access to and control over resources for women and men.
  • Promote equal rights for women and men.
  • Promote equal opportunities for women and men to achieve political and economic influence

In 2008 the efforts at achieving gender equality and improving opportunities for women were characterised by the strengthening of the gender aspect of Danish assistance programmes as well as the Government’s international initiative, the MDG3 campaign. The campaign has already created results, both internationally and at the country level.

Bullet blue 2008 was the year when the international community conducted a midway evaluation of the progress being made in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. According to the UN, 11 areas require a special effort in order for the goals to be reached by 2015. Eight of the 11 areas are closely connected with gender equality.

Seeing as gender equality and opportunities for women have been a top priority of Danish development cooperation for a number of years, it was natural to focus an international initiative on achieving MDG3. The idea is simple: investments in women and girls have a major positive impact on conditions for future generations. Women invest more than men in children’s state of nutrition, education and health. Income and education for women result in lower population growth rates as well as increased poverty reduction and growth. In economic terms, it is inefficient to exclude half the population of a country from actively participating in enjoying the benefits of development. Moreover, gender equality and non-discrimination are human rights and are therefore goals in themselves.

Female and male students doing metal work at a technical upper secondary school in Burkina Faso.

Female and male students doing metal work at a technical upper secondary school in Burkina Faso.
Photo: Thorsten Overgaard/Danida.

Liberia as a Goal 3 partner country

Bullet Yellow Denmark has also entered into an MDG3 partnership with Liberia. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf participated in the Copenhagen MDG3 Conference. She presented an MDG3 Champion Torch to the President of the AU Commission, Jean Ping, during the AU meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, where she announced the intention of establishing a Trust Fund for African women no later than the end of 2009. Together with former Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Liberia’s President was host for the MDG3 event during the High-Level Meeting in New York, during which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon received Champion Torch number 100.

The partnership has resulted in Danish support for a new programme in Liberia, the aim of which is more female food producers, increased employment and education for the women of Liberia.

Strong woman. Ellen Johnson during a visit to Denmark. Seen here together with former Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs.Denmark has allocated USD 19.4 million to the programme, which is to commence in 2009. A related preliminary project was already set in motion in 2008. The project directly targets female farmers and women’s groups in three provinces who receive assistance from, for example, the Ministry of Agriculture and the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in order to grow, prepare and market food.


Strong woman. Ellen Johnson during a visit to Denmark. Seen here together with former Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs.
Photo: Joachim Rode.

Liberia was chosen as a partner country due to the fact that since 2005 the country has made great efforts to include women in its development policies. Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, is the first democratically elected female president in Africa, and from the start, her policy has been that the reconstruction and development in the country must also benefit women.

Liberia is in ruins after 14 years of unrest and civil war, which first came to an end as the result of a peace agreement in 2003. The challenges are enormous. Many Liberians have fled the country or been driven from their homes. Many young people – especially young men – have never learned anything other than how to handle a weapon. Most of the country’s infrastructure was destroyed and the economy has shrunk to 1/3 of its previous size.

Substantial Global MDG3 campaign

On 7 March 2008 the Minister for Development Cooperation launched the Government’s international campaign, ”MDG3 Global Call to Action.” The campaign has two specific aims. First, to place the effort for achieving gender equality and opportunities for women higher on the agenda, both internationally and at the country level. And second, to work to ensure that more resources are made available for the effort, internationally and in the individual countries, as well as through international development assistance. Both of these aims are intended to assist in achieving MDG3.

The MDG3 Champion Torch become the focal point of the campaign and gave new life to the idea that everyone can do something extra in order to achieve Goal 3 by 2015. The Torch campaign became a powerful tool. In the lead up to the UN High-Level Meeting in September 2008 in New York where Heads of State and Government were to take stock of the progress that has been made in achieving the MDGs, Denmark presented 99 Champion Torches and received an equal number of commitments to “do something extra” for achieving gender equality. The Torch bearers could then pass on the Torches to new recipients who committed themselves to working to achieve MDG3. In this way, the campaign spread like rings in water. The Torches literally travelled from North to South and from East to West, from top-level international decision makers to local grassroots organisations. The Torch recipients are representatives of governments in developing and donor countries, the private sector and broader civil society in the North and the South, as well as of international organisations.

The founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Nobel Prizewinner Professor Muhammad Yunus, was the first Torch recipient. He was followed by, among others, the President of the World Bank, who made six commitments, including a commitment to channel credits totalling at least USD 100 million to female entrepreneurs no later than the end of 2012. The leaders of the major UN organisations, the Secretary-General of the WTO, the EU Commissioners for Development and Humanitarian Aid and External Relations, the Commission Chairman of the African Union and the President of the African Development Bank also all made commitments. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was presented with Champion Torch number 100 by former Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen during the UN High-Level Meeting.

COMMENTARY by Mads Kjær:

We must focus on women

Bullet red ”We must make money from Africa...
... and Africa must make money from us! Supporting gender equality and the economic liberation of women are crucial elements in the ongoing development process in Africa. Therefore, MYC4 and I are strongly committed to providing the best possible help for African women so that they have the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty and create healthy economic growth through microenterprises and small business.

Mads KjærIn accepting an MDG3 Champion Torch on behalf of MYC4, I have also made a commitment to concentrate on expanding MYC4’s market place to include more African partners, with a special focus on women. In that way, we can ensure that women have access to capital and competences on fair and transparent terms.

For far too many years we have only seen a continent in stagnation and war, where poverty, starvation and illness have held the population in an unbreakable iron grip. But I also see another Africa: an Africa with an enormous amount of potential for growth which is just waiting to be kick-started. Every day, millions of Africans fight a tough battle to start, develop and run their businesses in order to earn money and ensure a better quality of life for themselves and their families.

The average age in Africa is 17. The most important task in terms of the many young people is, therefore, for the international community to generate the 10 to 15 million jobs that are needed annually if the large generations of young people are to have a livelihood. In this regard, the efforts at enhancing the role of women are absolutely crucial.

We need to see Africa as a business case instead of as a development case. Does it matter that combating poverty is, at the same time, good business? That an enterprise that creates jobs, transfers knowhow and generates tax revenue in a developing country at the same time makes a profit? Absolutely not!

It is a tough haul, but why shouldn’t we believe we can succeed? And what’s the alternative?”

CEO Mads Kjær,

Bilateral assistance: Gender equality as a crosscutting issue

Denmark works to promote gender equality as a crosscutting issue in all development assistance. The gender aspect is being incorporated into Danish-supported sector programmes to an ever-greater degree. Moreover, in 2008 Denmark supported many specific activities aimed at promoting equal rights and equal opportunities for economic and political influence for women in 13 programme countries. The initiatives are distributed among three thematic areas: equal rights, and better access to economic and political influence. One example is the Danish-supported effort in Bolivia that has ensured women’s rights in a draft version of a new constitution.

Another example is the Danish support for gender equality provided to Burkina Faso, which is intended to promote equal legal status and equal access to participate in political decision processes at all levels of society. Another important aim of the support is to promote opportunities for women to acquire economic resources. This is done, for example, by ensuring that girls have access to education and that women have access to literacy programmes and by ensuring that the issue of gender is integrated into all sectors. 80 per cent of the population of Burkina Faso supports itself through agriculture. It is therefore vital to ensure that crops that are traditionally grown by women are integrated into the national and local development plans for supporting research, production and marketing on an equal footing with the crops traditionally grown by men.

Studies from 2008 of the effect of the Danish effort to integrate the gender issue into sector programmes and of the special initiatives aimed at promoting women’s rights and influence indicated that Denmark could be better at documenting the effect of initiatives intended to promote gender equality. Moreover, the studies highlighted the fact that the special initiatives had led to actual structural or permanent changes for the condition of women in only very few cases in the countries in question.

Attempts to meet the challenges involved in integrating the gender aspect are made, for instance, through the ”Gender Equality Tool-box”, which was developed in 2008. The tool-box consists of ten thematic booklets that provide practical suggestions for how to promote the integration of gender equality in development work at both country and sector level.

Men are also involved in the effort to achieve gender equality

Men are also extremely important in the effort to achieve gender equality. This is true in terms of understanding and changing the societal conditions that impede the advancement of gender equality, but also in terms of allowing them to play a more active role in development work. The last 30 years of international focus on women in development projects means that in many places men feel the work does not involve them.

Utilising the resources and potential of both women and men is crucial in terms of achieving development policy goals. Even though the Goal 3 efforts in 2008 to a large extent prioritised a focus on women, Danish bilateral assistance will continue to maintain and additionally strengthen the efforts to attain gender equality in analytical, strategic and practical contexts.

The best example of concrete initiatives involving both men and women are the activities targeting HIV/AIDS. In recent years, Danish assistance in this area in a number of different countries has worked from a gender-equality perspective, which is directed at both men and women as target groups for campaigns and education programmes. Denmark also supports research programmes that address the roles of both men and women. Thus, a project at the University of Copenhagen works with masculinity in South Africa in order to analyse the way in which gender inequality affects the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Kvinfo’s work in Morocco

Legal aid to Moroccan women is supported by the Partnership for Progress and Reform.

Legal aid to Moroccan women is supported by the Partnership for Progress and Reform.
Photo: Danida

Bullet Yellow Moroccan women are gradually receiving better legal aid and help for mediation and reconciliation in connection with divorce as a new family law that was adopted in 2004 is implemented throughout the country.

Denmark works together with both Danish and Moroccan partners to support the Moroccan authorities in their effort to implement the new family law reforms. The new Family Code seeks to provide equal protection for men and women within the sphere of civil law, thus providing, among other things, easier access to divorce.

Judge Zhour El Horr from Morocco’s national judicial training institute is enthusiastic about the Danish support and the Danish experience that she has encountered in the project.

”We have worked with Danish experts and Danish techniques for mediation and reconciliation. The results have been very positive. As teachers, we try to pass on these results to the students in the judicial training programme, ” she says.

Women in the Arab world are generally poorly represented in public offices and institutions, and only 35 per cent of women have employment.

However, the picture varies among the various Arab countries. In Morocco and many other countries, instruments such as quota schemes have been introduced in order to place more women in political posts. In Morocco, for example, women hold 10.8 per cent of the seats in Parliament, as opposed to 0.3 per cent in Yemen.

There are challenges involved in implementing the new law on legal aid for women. While it is true that the law provides better rights for women, it does not, however, alter the cultural and economic conditions that often cause the problems.

The project is a part of the Partnership for Progress and Reform, in which promoting the rights of women and their participation in social, political and economic life are key activity areas.

The Danish cooperation partners are the City Court of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Legal Aid, the Department of Family Affairs, the State Administration and Kvinfo. The Moroccan partners are the Moroccan Ministry of Justice, two selected family courts, the Moroccan national judicial training institute and a number of women’s organisations.

Gender equality in fragile states and conflict situations

In 2008 Denmark revised the action plan for women, peace and security in recognition of the need for integrating a more systematic approach to incorporating the issue of gender equality in all development-related tasks in armed conflicts. In conflicts and post-conflicts, Denmark’s strategic objective of incorporating the issue of gender equality is important for finding just solutions for peace. Having female leaders work in conjunction with male leaders is important for, among other things, achieving sustainable peace solutions.

There are numerous reasons for focusing on the issue of gender equality in the work involving armed conflicts. Women and girls are even more vulnerable in conflict and post-conflict situations. The use of systematic rape and violence against women and girls is often a strategy of war, and the international focus on protecting women remains limited while there is even less focus on the potential resources of women in armed conflict.

The action plan is to be launched in spring 2009.

MDG3 Champion Torches create new local platforms at country level

Female Nepalese mountain climbers carried the MDG3 logo to the top of Mount Everest.

Female Nepalese mountain climbers carried the MDG3 logo to the top of Mount Everest.
Photo: Fiwse

Bullet blue In many countries, Torch recipients in Denmark’s MDG3 campaign have, in cooperation with the Danish Embassies, managed to use the Torches to create new platforms for the work on achieving gender equality and opportunities for women locally.

In Bangladesh, a lack of awareness of women’s formal rights is a major challenge. Women lack an awareness of their own legal status and the subject receives little attention from public officials. With this in mind, a comprehensive national information campaign was launched on the subject of the formal rights of women. Advertising spots were secured in local media, a local green and red version of the Champion Torch was created, inspired by the national flag, and a group of male advocates of women’s rights and opportunities was formed. The Embassy in Dhaka, in cooperation with the former government adviser and founder and Managing Director of the advertising company Adcomm Limited, Geeteara Safiya Choudhury, from the MDG3 network, established a multi-donor fund, which financed the local MDG3 campaign and also raised funds from private companies.

In Burkina Faso, five Ministers jointly committed to empowering women through, among other things, the introduction of a new law concerning women’s rights to own property. In Tanzania, President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, who at that time was also Chairman of the African Union, committed to reforming a number of laws in order to enhance women’s legal rights in terms of marriage, inheritance and owning property.

The MDG3 logo was also used symbolically as an illustration of opportunities for women. A banner bearing the MDG3 Call to Action logo was planted at the North Pole by a female Cisco engineer, who undertook the Polar trek for the sole purpose of focusing attention on the importance of providing opportunities for women through education. A flag bearing the logo also waved from the highest spot on earth when the first all-women expedition, consisting of Nepalese mountain climbers, carried the MDG3 Call to Action logo to the top of Mount Everest.

All of the Champion Torch commitments are gathered together in the booklet, ”100 commitments”. Denmark will follow up on the progress being made in meeting these commitments in the period up to 2010, when the next UN High-Level Meeting on the MDGs is expected to be held.

Denmark’s own MDG3 commitment

Apart from taking the initiative for the MDG3 campaign, the Danish Government committed to doubling the grant allocation for initiatives targeting women, with a special focus on Africa, for the period 2008-2010.

A portion of the funds (USD 3.9 million) is to go to Benin, where work is taking place on a programme that aims strengthening the institutional framework for gender equality. This is being done, for example, through the creation of municipal counselling centres for women and through strengthening the Ministry for Family and Children, which bears the primary responsibility for formulating and implementing Benin’s gender-equality policy. In three years, when the programme has been completed, counselling centres are expected to have been established in 1/3 of the 77 municipalities in Benin. The programme also provides grants to civil society organisations for information activities about the legal status of women.

In order to strengthen the ownership of the gender-equality agenda, USD 4.8 million was spent in 2008 on regional activities in Africa.

The activities focused on women’s economic and political influence, ensuring equal rights in the political and judicial arenas, women’s education, representation in political fora, and combating female genital mutilation. Support was also provided for the capacity building of African NGOs.

Read more about the MDG3 initiative:



  • Reduce by 2/3 the mortality rate among children under five no later than 2015.

Global status according to the UN

  • Ten million children under five die every year in the developing countries. This is a 20 per cent reduction since 1990 but still far from the target of a two-thirds reduction.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for half of the world’s total child mortality.

Denmark’s strategic priorities

  • Prioritising children and other vulnerable groups in health sector programmes in six countries.
  • Major multilateral effort

It does not appear that the world will meet the target of reducing child mortality by 2/3 by 2015. The majority of children die from common illnesses that could be easily and cheaply treated. Denmark works, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to reduce the rate of child mortality.

Bullet blue The most important bilateral effort in 2008 was, as in previous years, the Danish support to the health sector programmes in Bhutan, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. The six country programmes provided a total of approximately USD 56.7 million to the health sectors in these countries.

Danish support is coordinated with the national health strategies of the partner countries. Improving the health situation for vulnerable groups is a main priority, especially creating better health for children under five. The coordination of Danish development assistance with the health strategies of the individual countries is in accordance with the Paris Declaration on alignment and harmonisation of assistance (see also page 47).



Denmark supports the countries’ own programmes

Bhutan is a good example of a country that has reduced child mortality with the help of Danish assistance. The country is well on its way to achieving the MDG of lowering the rate of child mortality to 1/3 of the 1990 level.

The ambition is to reduce the rate to ¼. Denmark has supported the health sector in Bhutan since the 1990s with nation-wide primary healthcare, including mother/child clinics, continuing education for healthcare personnel and providing information about health.

Bilateral assistance to health sectors is provided primarily as sector budget support. Denmark does not, therefore, decide on the specific activities in the programmes but attempts, in consultation with the governments of the countries, to ensure that the national strategies and thus the health sectors as a whole prioritise child mortality. This can be accomplished, for example, by making sufficient funds available for national vaccination programmes.

Denmark strives to ensure that the countries take action against the most important causes of death for children: upper respiratory tract infections, diarrhoea, malaria, measles, complications during childbirth, insufficient neonatal care and poor nutrition. The efforts in these areas are to be ensured through the ongoing dialogue with the countries about sector budget support and through the adviser assistance that Denmark provides to the ministries of health.

Many activities reduce child mortality

Vaccination programmes are effective prevention against the most common childhood diseases such as whooping cough, polio, diphtheria and measles. Denmark prioritises these prevention campaigns as well as the prevention and treatment of diarrhoea, which is responsible for 20 per cent of worldwide child mortality. Important tools in this fight are breast-feeding (which helps prevent diarrhoea), access to safe drinking water, education in basic hygiene and the use the of latrines, along with the use of rehydration salts in the treatment of acute cases.

Denmark also strives to ensure improved nutrition and to disseminate knowledge about the importance of nutrition. Better nutrition is not exclusively an activity involving health programmes. It is also closely linked with, for example, agriculture, poverty and emergency relief in situations of disaster. Information on nutrition is typically provided through health sector programmes and in a coordinated effort between a number of different ministries. Specifically, information on nutrition is often given in connection with antenatal courses.

Children are born infected with HIV

Many children are born infected with HIV because their mothers have the virus and it can be transmitted during birth. Deaths among children that are born with the HIV virus are meaningless because the risk of transmitting the virus from mother to child can be significantly reduced through inexpensive and simple medical treatment for the mother prior to giving birth. Preventing the transfer of the HIV virus from mother to child has, for example, produced positive results in Burkina Faso, where Danish assistance has contributed to several hundred HIV-infected pregnant women receiving treatment and has made it possible to save many newborn babies from HIV (Read more about HIV/AIDS in the chapter on MDG6 on page 35).

Multilateral support

Denmark also works multilaterally to reduce child mortality. For example, in 2008 Denmark provided core contributions of USD 9.0 million to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and USD 34.8 million to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Both organisations combat childhood diseases and support or implement vaccination programmes and activities targeting nutrition in order to reduce child mortality. Additionally, Denmark also supports the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The organisation concentrates on activities such as indoor residual spraying for mosquitoes, treating malaria with modern combination drugs and the use of mosquito nets, which can prevent children from being infected with malaria. The Danish contribution to the Global Fund in 2008 totalled USD 33.9 million.

In the period 2007-2011, USD 11.6 million was earmarked for UNICEF’s effort to fight HIV/AIDS among children. The programme involves the treatment of children infected with the HIV virus as well as help for children who have been orphaned as a result of AIDS. The initiatives are underway in the programme countries Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Children in the humanitarian assistance effort

In September 2008 flooding destroyed roads, bridges, and water supply and sewage systems in Ecuador. Denmark supported UNICEF’s humanitarian assistance plan for children and women who were affected by the flooding. The initiatives targeted, among other things, preventing malnutrition among children. This is a basic priority in humanitarian assistance efforts.

Mobile clinics help Kenya’s nomads

Photo: Danida

Photo: Danida

Bullet Yellow ”There are no health facilities where we live. The closest clinic is in Takaba, 50 km away, and there is no public transport to get there,” says Fatuma, a young mother from a nomad tribe in Kenya’s North West Province on the border to Somalia and Ethiopia.

Her little child had been coughing for several days. It could have been the beginning of pneumonia, a normal cause of death for children in Kenya. She got help at a mobile clinic for nomads, which receives support from Denmark. Healthcare services are not something that nomads take for granted. The nomads’ way of life is based on moving around according to the shifting weather conditions of the seasons and, in that way, ensuring a supply of water and grass for their cattle. Fatuma’s tribe lives in Kenya’s sparsely populated North West Province, which is among the poorest in the country. Access to vaccinations in this area is limited, and there is a high level of child mortality. The traditional healthcare system offers very few healthcare facilities in this region and they are very widely dispersed. There is typically no help for pregnant women or women during childbirth, and many deaths occur as a result of complications involved in giving birth.

Denmark and the Kenyan Ministry of Health have cooperated to develop an innovative method of providing health services to the nomads: mobile health clinics. These are clinics in tents with basic medical equipment and drugs, which, after a few weeks based in one area, can be packed up and moved to another location, in keeping with the movements of the nomads. One clinic costing USD 23,222 can cover an area with between
25,000 and 40,000 inhabitants.

The clinics are kept busy treating malaria, upper respiratory treat infections, diarrhoea and other common, often fatal, illnesses. They also vaccinate children, counsel pregnant women and assist during childbirth.

Simple equipment such as a donkey carts and a motorcycle handle the necessary transport. Solar energy supplies the clinics with electricity, which is used for cooling vaccines and providing power for a radiotelephone, which can be used in serious cases to make emergency calls to the nearest clinic.

Photo: Danida

Photo: Danida





  • Reduce maternal mortality by ¾ before 2015.

Global status according to the UN

  • Maternal mortality has been reduced by 6 per cent globally, but only by 2 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Denmark’s strategic priorities

  • Prioritise pregnant women and women during childbirth in health sector programmes in six countries.
  • Global lobby efforts for women’s rights, including improved maternal health.
  • Multilateral initiatives through, among others, WHO, UNFPA and IPPF

The world is a long way from reducing the maternal mortality rate by ¾, which is the target for 2015. The risk of dying while giving birth is more than 300 times as high for an African woman as it is for women in many European countries. Denmark works bilaterally, multilaterally and through international lobby efforts to reduce the maternal mortality rate.

Bullet blue Just as with the bilateral effort to reduce child mortality, Denmark’s bilateral effort aimed at reducing maternal mortality is provided first and foremost through support to the six health sector programmes in Bhutan, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. Denmark prioritises help to vulnerable groups in all sector programmes, including pregnant women and women during childbirth.

The multilateral efforts to reduce maternal mortality are provided primarily through the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF), which is an advocacy organisation working to support reproductive health and rights. In 2008 Denmark contributed USD 61.7 million to the work of these organisations.

Denmark supports the countries’ own programmes

Denmark’s development assistance to health programmes is provided primarily as sector budget support. Denmark does not, therefore, determine the specific activities that are included in the programmes but attempts, in consultation with the governments of the individual countries and through adviser assistance to the ministries of health, to ensure that maternal health is prioritised in the national strategies.

The most important activities involve access to effective prenatal care, emergency maternity assistance and clinic births that are monitored by skilled health personnel. Initiatives targeting unsafe abortions, teenage pregnancies and information on contraception and reproductive rights are also important.

A cross-sectoral problem

There are many different underlying causes for women dying during childbirth or immediately afterwards. The efforts to reduce the maternal mortality rate are, therefore, not limited to health programmes. The immediate cause of death is most often bleeding or infections. One of the most important overriding initiatives consists, therefore, in getting women to give birth in health centres where qualified personnel are present. However, for nomads or farmers living far from a health centre, this is not an easy task. Communication, transport, roads, not to mention ambulances, or trained personnel cannot always be taken for granted, just as medicine and basic sanitary precautions are often lacking. Doing something effective towards solving this complex web of problems requires a comprehensive, wholehearted effort from governments and donors and involves more than an individual sector is able to manage.

Apart from a wide-ranging effort to make it possible for women to give birth at health centres that are equipped to deal with the problems that might arise, it is also important to strive to improve prevention. Violence against women, dangerous abortions, far too many pregnancies, access to contraception, anaemia, poor nutrition and poor hygiene are all factors that can be attacked on a broad front in order to reduce the maternal mortality rate – and these factors are also cross-sectoral.

A broader perspective is, therefore, needed in the effort to reduce maternal mortality. It is about strengthening women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights on a broad front so that women have, for example, access to the relevant health services in connection with pregnancy and are able to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The Government’s strategy for strengthening sexual and reproductive rights makes it clear that this is an issue that has a high priority in the Danish development assistance effort.

One example of the Danish effort comes from Zanzibar, the semi self-governing island region of Tanzania. In 2008 Denmark contributed to reducing the maternal mortality rate in Zanzibar through support to a programme aimed at combating malaria. This initiative helped to reduce maternal mortality because malaria is especially dangerous for pregnant women. As an extension of this initiative, Denmark is supporting a study intended to identify other causes of maternal mortality in Zanzibar.

Nurse examining woman with newborn baby in Ghana.

Nurse examining woman with newborn baby in Ghana.
Photo: Jørgen Schytte/Danida

Bhutan is an example of a country where, despite poor odds, progress has been made in reducing the maternal mortality rate. In Bhutan it is difficult and expensive to extend the infrastructure in the remote and very thinly populated valleys. The maternal mortality rate has, however, still been halved in relation to the 1990 level. This has been achieved by ensuring a network of health centres staffed with skilled personnel. As an element in the fight to additionally reduce maternal mortality, every single death is analysed with a view to prevention in the future. The success that has been achieved is a result of a strong political commitment in Bhutan and has been helped along the way by Danish support.

NGO initiatives

The low status of women in many countries can mean that women’s health is not a political priority (read more about gender equality in the chapter on MDG3 on page 25). For reasons such as this, it is important that NGOs, which can act as advocates for women’s rights, also participate in the fight to improve maternal health. One of the major NGOs that Denmark supports is the African Medical & Research Foundation (, which works to reduce maternal mortality and birth complications in a number of African countries. The organisation performs important work in helping women suffering from obstetric fistulas, a serious injury of the uterus that is caused by difficult childbirth or rape.

Denmark also supports the Danish Afghanistan Committee (DAC)’s work in Herat Province, an effort aimed at improving access to primary health services, especially for women and children.

Continuing education saves women’s lives during childbirth

Midwives receive new, advanced qualifications. Pictured here are students at St. Francis Hospital in Tanzania.

Midwives receive new, advanced qualifications. Pictured here are students at St. Francis Hospital in Tanzania.
Photo: Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health

Bullet Yellow Through continuing education programmes, nurses and midwives can be successfully trained to perform many types of procedures involved with childbirth. Therefore Denmark supported a project in Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania in 2008 with USD 4.8 million. The project trains nurses and midwives to provide more advanced forms of birth assistance, including performing caesarean sections. The project makes expertise and training facilities available to the countries’ ministries of health in a close cooperation that is to result in the new techniques being integrated in the countries’ own health initiatives.

A lack of qualified personnel is a pressing problem in the health services in the majority of developing countries. Optimal use must therefore be made of the scarce resources that do exist. This means that all tasks must be carried out at the lowest defensible level. It would, for example, be impossible to ensure in practice that doctors attend other than the most complicated births. Continuing education for nurses and midwives is therefore the only option for providing skilled help for many women during childbirth. The delegation of responsibility means that more women can receive assistance during childbirth. This saves lives.

One of the most important challenges facing the project is ensuring that the new qualifications of the midwives and nurses are accepted by other professional groups, especially doctors. An active effort to influence the decision makers and opinion formers is therefore a part of the project.

This major project is being implemented by a large number of partners, including Columbia University, national ministries of health, UNFPA and UNICEF, the African NGO The African Medical and Research Foundation, and the organisation Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative.





  • Halt the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases and thus reverse the negative development currently taking place where the incidence of infection is increasing day by day.

Global status according to the UN

  • The number of people infected with the HIV virus has stabilised but is still high in many countries. Globally, 33 million people are estimated to be infected with the virus.
  • The number of deaths resulting from ADIS has declined. Three million HIV-infected people are now undergoing medical treatment.
  • The proportion of women infected with the HIV virus is rising.
  • Significant increase in the use of mosquito nets to combat malaria, from 30 million mosquito nets in 2004 to 95 million in 2007.
  • Less progress in treating malaria than in prevention.
  • Slight decline in the incidence of tuberculosis.

Denmark’s strategic priorities

  • HIV/AIDS is a Danish priority area and is incorporated into all Danish development assistance.
  • Initiatives targeting HIV/AIDS are linked with sexual and reproductive health and rights. … Denmark targets prevention in the effort to combat HIV/AIDS.
  • Stigmatised groups such as homosexuals and sex workers are prioritised.
  • Major multilateral effort.

Progress has been made in the global fight against the major infectious diseases. Massive support in this area has resulted in, among other things, three million people infected with the HIV virus now receiving medical treatment. Infectious diseases claim an unacceptable number of lives, however. Denmark provides both bilateral and multilateral assistance in the fight against these diseases. HIV/AIDS is, moreover, a priority area in all other development assistance activities.

Bullet blue The fight against HIV/AIDS has especially high priority for Danish development assistance. In 2008 Denmark’s support to the fight against HIV/AIDS reached slightly more than USD 193.5 million, measured in terms of bilateral and multilateral assistance.

The fight against infectious diseases continued to constitute an important part of Denmark’s health sector support in 2008 in the countries where Denmark has health sector programmes (Bhutan, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda). The six country programmes contributed a total of USD 56.7 million to the health sectors in these countries in 2008. Of this total, approximately USD 18.4 million went to initiatives aimed at combating HIV/AIDS.

Denmark’s assistance to health sector programmes is primarily sector budget support and goes first and foremost to support the countries’ own national health strategies. Denmark strives, in consultation with the governments of the countries, to ensure that the fight against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases receives a high priority in the collective health effort.

Denmark also provides important HIV/AIDS grants in countries without Danish health sector programmes. For example, in 2008 Denmark approved an HIV/AIDS programme totalling USD 17.4 million over three years in Zambia. A programme totalling USD 13.5 million over five years is also underway in Burkina Faso. Both programmes support the implementation of the countries’ own AIDS strategies. National NGOs also receive extensive support through the programmes. In Burkina Faso a large portion of the budget goes to an NGO umbrella organisation that organises and streamlines the activities of several hundred small grassroots organisations, including associations for people infected with HIV, prostitutes, advocacy groups, theatre groups and counselling clinics (find out more about the project on page 36).

The lack of a qualified workforce within the health sector is an enormous problem in the majority of developing countries and constitutes one of the major obstacles in the effort to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Therefore Denmark also provides support for hiring more employees in the health sector.

HIV/AIDS across sectors

HIV/AIDS is a crosscutting focus area. This means that consideration for HIV/AIDS must be incorporated into all relevant development assistance initiatives. This applies to initiatives both within and outside of the health sector.

It can be a challenge to get other sectors to plan in terms of HIV/AIDS. For example, Denmark sees it as important to reach young people through the schools. However, finding space in the curriculum for sex education and HIV/AIDS prevention can be a new and foreign idea to many teachers.

The AIDS telephone is constantly ringing in Burkina Faso

Bullet Yellow Anonymous telephone counselling about HIV and AIDS has become a great success in the desert country of Burkina Faso. In 2008 the number of people who sought help had increased tenfold in four years.

In Burkina Faso today just under 3 per cent of the population is infected with HIV, and despite a number of deaths due to AIDS, this represents a significant improvement, seeing as approximately 10 per cent of the population was infected with the virus ten years ago. A strong commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS at the highest political level has succeeded in reducing the number of people who are newly infected with the disease. In contrast to many other countries, there is a great deal of openness about prevention in Burkina Faso, just as a number of civil society organisations have entered the fight against the disease.

One of these organisations is Association des Femmes Africaines Face au Sida (the Association for African Women Facing AIDS -AFAFSI), which is led by the retired midwife Mme Mominata Boyarm. The association has existed for over ten years and is housed in modest offices in the centre of the capital, Ouagadougou.

In 2002 AFASFI established a free telephone line called “the green line for information on AIDS.” Mme Boyarm did not realise that the demand for telephone counselling was as enormous as proved to be the case in her poor country, where telephones are far from being a household item.

Burkina Faso. Counsellor at the telephone.

Burkina Faso. Counsellor at the telephone.
Photo: Danida

But the phones were constantly busy and between 2004 and 2008 the annual number of calls increased tenfold. Today the numerous calls are answered by 16 staff counsellors and the counselling service is available in almost the entire country. Counselling is available in French as well as in the three most important local languages in the country, Mooré, Dioula and Peul.

Mme Boyarm has no doubt: ”The project fulfils a great demand for anonymous counselling, not least among young people. A lot of people do not want to go to hospitals or clinics. The counsellors are young people themselves and are better able to communicate with the people who contact us.”

Denmark’s programme for combating AIDS in Burkina Faso totals USD 13.6 million for the period 2007 to 2012. Most of this amount goes to a programme in support of associations and NGOs. AFAFSI is one of these associations.

by Henriette Laursen:
Remember gays and drug addicts

Bullet red ”HIV is about sex. About gays, condoms, needles and prostitution. No. HIV is about oppressed women, orphaned children and poverty. That is how big the difference is in how HIV and AIDS are tackled, all depending on whether we are talking about HIV in the North or the South.

Henriette Laursen

Henriette Laursen, Director of the Danish AIDS Foundation
Photo: Stephen Freiheit

The fact is that HIV is about all of these things, but it has especially come to be about poverty etc. because donors and African leaders were far too late in starting up initiatives aimed at the most vulnerable people, and because proven methods of prevention were not distributed quickly enough. Gays in Africa are disproportionately affected by HIV. For example, 38 per cent of gays in Kenya are infected with HIV in contrast to 6 per cent of the general population.

More action is therefore needed to back up Danida’s words, for example when it comes to ensuring equal rights for gays. Danida should also reconsider its strategy of mainstreaming HIV in all poverty programmes in situations where it is clear that the absolutely basic work has not been done. For example, an African man has on average access to only five condoms a year and very few drug addicts use clean needles.

In many places, it makes sense to prioritise women and children in the fight against HIV/AIDS. But we need to keep in mind the less accepted groups, such as gays and drug addicts. There is an urgent need to convert words into initiatives that, for example, take action regarding the 12 of Danida’s 16 programme countries that criminalise gays.

Focus on prevention and stigmatised groups

In 2008 the UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) criticised in its annual report the global effort to fight HIV/AIDS for not focusing enough on prevention and for not concentrating enough on stigmatised groups such as homosexuals, intravenous drug users and sex workers.

There is no doubt that it is prevention that is lagging behind. It is often a problematic area to work with because it concerns sexuality, gender equality and initiatives targeting groups that enjoy very little recognition, and this is also true of the work in Denmark’s programme countries. In international fora Denmark advocates prioritising prevention and maintaining a focus on stigmatised groups. The Minister for Development Cooperation used part of her speech on World Aids Day on 1 December 2008 in Copenhagen to promote equal rights for homosexuals and in that way improve the prevention of HIV.

Denmark strives to promote sexual health and rights in the Danish programme countries through such things as support for the advocacy work of national and international organisations aimed at fighting discrimination, stigmatisation and the lack of respect for human rights. This is done, for example, through support for NGOs in their work with HIV/AIDS in relation to particularly vulnerable groups, including homosexuals.

In countries where Denmark supports the health sector, the issue is part of the dialogue that takes place with the authorities in order to ensure that homosexuals are not discriminated against and receive the same access to information, prevention and treatment in relation to sexually transmitted diseases as the rest of the population.

Denmark supports female condoms and other forms of prevention
Denmark has provided USD 5.8 million for a pilot initiative to distribute female condoms in Nigeria, Cameroun and Mozambique in the period 2008 – 2010. The goal of the project is to increase the number of female condoms that have been distributed as well as the demand for them so that women are better able to protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. The Minister for Development Cooperation placed focus on the female condom during her speech on World Aids Day:

The female condom is […] the symbol of a woman’s right to decide over her own body and to be able to protect herself against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. These are absolutely not things that can be taken for granted in many other parts of the world.

A doctor in Uganda studies an X-ray. Many AIDS patients suffer from oesophageal candidiasis and meningitis.

A doctor in Uganda studies an X-ray. Many AIDS patients suffer from oesophageal candidiasis and meningitis.
Photo: Mikkel Østergaard / Danida

Male circumcision is also a method of preventing HIV infection and in 2008 Denmark hosted a thematic meeting on the subject. Research indicates that male circumcision can significantly limit the incidence of infection transmission from women to men. However, there are ethical dilemmas involved with promoting circumcision as a method of prevention. For instance, surgical safety can present problems in many developing countries.

Multilateral support

With grants totalling USD 67.7 million going to international health organisations, Denmark makes a large contribution to the fight against infectious diseases. Danish support has, for example, helped to ensure that three million HIV-infected people now have access to medical treatment and thus are no longer facing death due to the disease. The Danish grants go to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Partnership on Microbicides (IPM). Additional support totalling USD 34.8 million is provided to the UN Children’s Fund, which also relates to child and maternal health.

Danish health-related disbursements to multilateral organisations in 2008, USD million

Graph: Danish health-related disbursements to multilateral organisations in 2008, USD million

Praise for Danish HIV/AIDS effort in Mozambique

Bullet Yellow Denmark has made a significant contribution to the population’s access to health services and has assumed a leading role when it comes to incorporating HIV/AIDS as a priority in other sectors. These are some of the positive conclusions of an independent evaluation from 2008 of the HIV/AIDS efforts in Mozambique.

Denmark has provided an important contribution to ensuring that HIV/AIDS is incorporated as a crosscutting issue in a number of different sectors: health, education, agriculture, energy, the media, the judicial system, the private sector, etc.

Denmark has supported the effort to combat HIV/ AIDS in Mozambique in a number of different ways in cooperation with both the public sector and civil society. However, the support for placing advisers in a number of Mozambique’s key ministries is an initiative that has proved especially beneficial. The advisers have assisted in ensuring that plans and policies for preventing and combating HIV/AIDS have been formulated in various ministries, and ’focal points’ for the effort have also been singled out. Danish adviser support to the National AIDS Council has helped to ensure consolidation of the positive lessons learned from the individual ministries and has fostered the expansion and further development of ’best practices’.

HIV/AIDS linked with sexual and reproductive health

Bullet blue In many developing countries HIV/AIDS initiatives exist as separate entities for HIV testing and counselling. This is despite the fact that existing programmes for reproductive health already often have experience with sexual counselling and distributing contraception such as condoms. This is a poor use of resources. The initiatives should be coordinated instead of competing for the same donor funds, which is often the case.

Developments within recent years have demonstrated that HIV/AIDS does not strike only high-risk groups such as homosexuals, but that it strikes broadly, also affecting the well-off segments of the population. More than 70 per cent of HIV infection among women and men is sexually transmitted or transmitted during pregnancy, childbirth or through breast-feeding. In Africa women have now overtaken men in terms of the incidence of HIV infection and AIDS-related death.

To a large extent it is about social patterns such as inequality, sexual violence, discrimination against sexual minorities, conflict and poverty. When women do not have the right to decide over their own bodies, they are also more vulnerable in terms of HIV infection.

HIV prevention is therefore also about a woman’s right to decide over her sexuality and to have access to reproductive health services. As a part of implementing the Government’s strategy for promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, Denmark therefore works to ensure that HIV/AIDS initiatives are organisationally linked with programmes for sexual and reproductive health. That is also why Denmark in 2008 helped to adopt a new strategy for this in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Danish support for promoting female condoms and research into microbicide prevention methods are similarly about providing women with possibilities for protecting themselves against sexually transmitted HIV infection.

Denmark has also been among the most prominent advocates for making access to sexual and reproductive health and rights a part of the Millennium Development Goals. In 2008 Denmark was, just as in previous years, among the largest donors to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which works specifically to strengthen women’s reproductive health and rights.





  • Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes as well as reverse the loss of environmental resources.
  • Reduce biodiversity loss considerably by 2010 at the latest.
  • Halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015.
  • significantly improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020.

Global status according to the UN

  • Global warming threatens in particular developing countries in Africa and Asia as well as small island states.
  • 7.3 million hectares of forest disappear annually, but the annual deforestation has fallen by 18 per cent since the 1990s.
  • More than 10 per cent of the world’s forest area is protected today in order to ensure biodiversity
  • 84 per cent of inhabitants in developing countries have access to clean drinking water. This is two percentage points short of the Millennium Development Goal.
  • 37 per cent of the urban population in developing countries live in slum conditions. The figure is over 60 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Denmark’s strategic priorities

  • Promote sustainable development and alleviate negative impacts on the environment as a necessary part of development assistance work.
  • Focus on urban and industrial environment, sustainable energy and sustainable management of natural resources in Denmark’s Environmental Strategy for 2004-2008.
  • Environment is integrated into all development assistance as a cross-cutting issue.
  • Integrate development and climate change.
  • Carry out a climate-check of all programme countries. This includes, for example, climate-proofing ongoing sector programmes and incorporating the climate dimension in new sector and country programmes.

Sustainability is a prerequisite for global stability and development. As one of its goals, Denmark aims to promote sustainable development and alleviate negative impacts on the environment at global, national and local levels in developing countries. Among the results achieved in 2008, environment was recognised as a cross-cutting issue and integrated into national strategies of developing countries, and the knowledge base for conducting climate-related activities in developing countries was considerably strengthened.

Bullet blue In 2008, Denmark had sector programmes and bilateral environmental projects in 17 countries plus a regional environmental programme in Central America. In 2008, USD 40.8 million was disbursed to the environmental sector programmes, which are long-term programmes based on the recognition that sustainable development is a prerequisite for lasting poverty reduction.

In December 2008, Denmark and Zambia signed an agreement regarding a new environmental programme. Denmark has promised to provide USD 23.2 million towards improving the environment in Zambia. The programme represents an innovation in environmental assistance, because it is a joint programme for a number of donors and the Zambian government. The ambition is to ensure integration and coherence. In practice, this means that even though Denmark has helped to draw up the programme document, it is the Zambian Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources that “owns” the programme and lays down the framework that international donors commit themselves to respecting, cf. the principles set out in the Paris Declaration (see the section, Millennium Development Goal 8, page 47). To date, Finland and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have also decided to contribute to realising the programme. Zambia’s other ministries and the country’s NGOs have also pledged their commitment along the way.

Of Denmark’s contribution, USD 3.9 million will go towards implementing the Zambian government’s environmental policy, with special focus on integrating the environmental dimension into the government’s activities. This entails that the programme aims to build the capacity of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources as well as a number of other ministries, such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Works and Supply - ministries that represent sectors that have been assigned high priority in Zambia’s five-year plan and which have a great influence on the environment - to tackle environmental problems.

A further USD 14.5 million has been earmarked for the establishment of a fund, where government institutions together with local authorities and possibly NGOs are able to seek funding for projects designed to improve the environment. The framework must ensure that the supported projects take into account both local considerations and general national plans. Lastly, funds have been set aside for strengthening the opportunities of local NGOs to act as a mouthpiece for the views of the local population on environmental issues and implement specific activities designed to improve the lives of the population.

Denmark also promotes environmental protection in developing countries through multilateral organisations and through NGOs. In 2008, Denmark contributed USD 40.8 million to multilateral organisations and USD 10.4 million to NGOs. Among the key recipients is the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which is a global partnership among 178 countries, international institutions, NGOs and the private sector, and one of the leading financial mechanisms for environmental assistance. Other important recipients of Danish support are the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Sahel farmers fight
ing climate change

It has always been difficult to cultivate the soil in the dry Sahel. Climate change poses new challenges.

It has always been difficult to cultivate the soil in the dry Sahel. Climate change poses new challenges.
Photo: Bo Simonsen/Danida

Bullet Yellow The climate in the Sahel, the dry area south of the Sahara Desert, has in recent years become more unstable and unpredictable. The climate often fluctuates between droughts and floods, even within the same year. This presents difficulties for the farmers, because the rain often does not fall in the normal sowing period. At other times, the rain is so heavy that it causes floods and washes away crops, houses and roads. These uncertain farming conditions impair the lives of the 80 per cent of the population who live in rural areas.

Bassiaka Dao, President of the Farmers’ Federation of Burkina Faso, says:

”Climate change is not a new phenomenon in the Sahel, but in recent years it has worsened. Many families in rural areas have difficulty making a living from agriculture. They are forced to supplement their income by sending one or more family members to work in the towns or on the Ivory Coast. But we are trying to tackle this development by adapting ourselves to climate change.”

Denmark supports the farmers in their struggle to adapt themselves to the changing climate through an agricultural sector programme. This includes, for example, digging small, crescent-shaped depressions around the plants in fields in northern Burkina. The digging enables the plants to absorb rainwater more efficiently. As a result, the harvest is secured in areas where for many years the yield has been very poor. Other specific activities include planting, in order to reduce erosion, and the introduction of new crops that are better able to withstand drought and have shorter growth periods. The activities are based on initiatives that the farmers themselves have developed, especially following the long drought in the Sahel at the start of the 1970s.

Denmark is providing USD 55.2 million in support for agricultural development over a six-year period. The majority of the funding is awarded to three of the poorest of the country’s 13 regions. Lessons learned from these regions will be valuable in determining the work to be carried out in the rest of the country. The activities are carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and, at local level, with farming organisations and local authorities.

Environment is not always included

Consideration for the environment is well incorporated in the great majority of Danish-supported programmes, although there are sectors that lag behind. This is the conclusion of a thematic review carried out in April 2008 of the cross-cutting issues in Danish development assistance. Consideration for the environment is best taken into account in the sectors that traditionally can have the greatest negative impacts on the environment: transport, energy, water and, to a certain degree, agriculture. In these sectors, it is namely possible to define and measure environmental consideration in terms of special goals and indicators.

In contrast, it is more difficult to find evidence of environmental consideration in other sectors that Denmark supports, such as public administration, health and business development. Action will be taken to rectify this in the coming year, partly through improving an e-learning-based competence development programme on environment and through a targeted effort in relation to sector specialists in Danida’s Technical Advisory Services department.

A specific example of how the environmental dimension was incorporated in 2008 stems from Zambia, where Denmark was involved in conducting an environmental impact assessment in connection with the planning of a new main road. Among other things, Denmark has financed the inclusion of consultants and workshops, in which the line routing was discussed in an effort to identify potential environmental and climate-related problems. The line routing is expected to be changed as a result.

Conversely, other development policy goals have been incorporated in environmental programmes, for example in the cooperation between Denmark and Egypt regarding a major environmental programme that was launched in 2001 and completed in 2008. The aim of the programme was to improve the lives of the poorest Egyptians and at the same time establish a clear link between environmental improvement and development. Support was awarded to, for example, environmental improvements in Egyptian enterprises, in which consideration was given to where the enterprises were located in poor districts, to ensuring that adequate action was taken to address the issue of gender equality and child labour, and to ensuring focus on the security and health of employees. Ordinary citizens, NGOs and public authorities were also involved in identifying the environmental and social areas that were most urgent. The programme succeeded in reaching out to two million Egyptian citizens.

Flooding of the tide in Vietnam 2009. The day before this photo was taken, the water level, according to the locals, was higher than ever before.

Flooding of the tide in Vietnam 2009. The day before this photo was taken, the water level, according to the locals, was higher than ever before.
Photo: Klaus Holsting/Danida.

Denmark strengthens developing countries ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen

Bullet blue In December 2009, Denmark will play host to the UN Climate Change Conference, COP15. COP stands for Conference of the Parties. It is the uppermost body of the UN Climate Change Convention and comprises environmental ministers who meet once a year to discuss the Climate Change Convention’s progress. COP15 in Copenhagen will be the 15th such conference. Denmark is making a great effort to ensure developing countries a voice during the negotiations. This Danish support applies in relation to the governments that are to participate in the negotiations as well as to civil society organisations and media in the developing countries.

Ahead of the climate change negotiations in Accra in August 2008, the African countries held a preparatory meeting that Denmark supported. The objective was to formulate African positions in the climate change negotiations. Denmark has also supported capacity building of civil society organisations in several African countries in order to strengthen their voice at COP15, and also contributes to ensuring that these organisations are able to retain the attention of citizens and governments on climate change in the period leading up to COP15.

In Central America, Denmark has provided support to two parallel climate conferences, which were held in May 2008 in San Pedro Sula in Honduras. One of the conferences brought together all heads of state and government in the region, whilst the other brought together representatives of the countries’ civil society organisations.

Denmark has also supported a project managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) aimed at enhancing the influence of civil society on the development of regional and national strategies in the Central American countries. An important element in the project is capacity building of civil society organisations, so as to enable them to engage in dialogue with both national governments and the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD). Furthermore, the organisations must act as advocates of the climate cause, promote dialogue and disseminate information about the consequences of climate change among the populations in the region. As a direct outcome of the project, representatives of civil society in the region will participate at COP15, where they will make a joint presentation.

Denmark launches international climate dialogue with developing countries
Flooded fields, roads washed away, and salt-water intrusion into the drinking water: global climate change risks striking the resources in developing countries that are most important for continued economic development. This may threaten the livelihoods of the poorest population groups in particular.

Therefore, on 13 November 2008, the Minister for Development Cooperation launched an international dialogue process on climate change adaptation. The aim is that it should provide answers for how we ensure the sustainability of land and water resources in developing countries in step with climate change. How do we ensure accessibility to farmland and crops that can withstand climate change? How do we ensure the availability of water that is safe to drink? Can roads and other forms of infrastructure withstand floods and heavy rain? The aim is to focus attention on the specific actions that can help developing countries in their adaptation to climate change.

The process should ideally result in the adoption of general international principles that partly contribute to the negotiations leading up to the COP15 conference in Copenhagen in December 2009, and partly can be used in the long-term efforts to strengthen the ability of developing countries to resist the effects of climate change. Among the partners in the dialogue are representatives of developing countries, international financial institutions, international organisations, donor countries, civil society and the private sector.

Climate check of all programme countries

Climate change will impact on the livelihoods of people and the productive sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure and business in developing countries. Since 2005, Denmark has carried out climate change screening of development assistance awarded to all 16 programme countries. The last nine of these screenings were carried out in 2008. These screenings have examined how climate change is anticipated to affect the particular country and especially the situation of the poorest inhabitants, what the countries have done to prepare themselves for climate change, and to what extent action is being taken to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

The screenings have shown that adaptation to climate change has gained increasing political attention in many developing countries. Where climate change adaptation was previously a focus area for environment ministries and agencies, today it is also a matter for stakeholders within the water, agriculture, energy, transport, business and health sectors. Also NGOs are becoming increasingly involved in the adaptation work. Nevertheless, the climate screenings indicate a need for greater knowledge and awareness at regional, national and local levels.

COMMENTARY by John Drexhage:

Climate must be integrated in order to suceed

John Drexhage

Bullet red “If a deal is to be reached at Copenhagen for establishing a viable, global climate change regime, it will need to address much more than mitigation commitments – support for adaptation, technology transfer and financing in developing countries are the other critical pillars in the negotiations. The question is how can those elements be most effectively implemented?

If there is one thing to learn from the past 15 years, it is that those climate change measures which offer the greatest prospect of success are precisely those that provide co-benefits or, even more critically, are effectively integrated with societies’ broader development priorities. Unfortunately, both the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol tend to point us in the opposite direction, calling for discrete financing to address climate change, as distinct from other development priorities. The reason why is simple and understandable: developing countries were rightfully concerned that monies used to help them in addressing climate change might be directed away from the ever shrinking envelope of official development aid. This concern has only become more acute with the global community being battered by an economic tsunami the likes of which we haven’t seen for the last seventy years.

While some may think this will result in diminishing prospects for a deal by the end of the year, it can also be regarded as a time for interesting opportunities. On the financing side, a whole new array of exciting revenue generation ideas are being given more serious consideration than would have otherwise been the case were it not for our current challenges. With these new revenues comes an opportunity to finance solutions that support a sophisticated response – one that meets primary development and poverty eradication ambitions, over the short AND long term. As much as a development perspective can help to ’ground’ climate change responses, climate change considerations can work to ensure that our youngest and future generations are fully taken into account.”

John Drexhage is Director of the Climate Change and Energy Program at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), a not-for-profit organisation based in Canada.

This applies, for example, in relation to disaster risk reduction. Climate change and disaster risk reduction are in many ways two sides of the same coin. Whilst their objectives are slightly different, the practical measures that need to be implemented, such as protecting agriculture and infrastructure against extreme weather conditions, are very often the same. It is therefore appropriate that the implementation of the Danish Climate and Development Action Programme and the disaster risk reduction efforts are coordinated together.

In 2008, Denmark positioned itself at the centre of the global agenda on disaster risk reduction as co-chairman of the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Denmark focuses in particular on the integration of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the poorest countries and on the importance of integrating the methods in ordinary development assistance.

In the Danish programme countries, on the basis of the results of climate change screenings, adjustments have been made to existing development programmes with the aim of “climate-proofing” the programmes. In many countries, initiative has been taken to implement new, targeted climate-related initiatives. As part of the climate screenings, USD 1 million has been earmarked in each of the 16 countries for a number of pilot projects on climate change adaptation. A number of the projects have focused on capacity building, for example in the form of funds to national institutes that conduct analyses and make predictions regarding climate change. In Bolivia, a substantial proportion of the funding has been awarded to NGOs that investigate the impact of changes in the outflow from glaciers in the Andes Mountains on small rural communities, whose agriculture and livestock are heavily dependent on the meltwater.

New climate initiatives in China, Vietnam and Kenya

In Vietnam, which is one of the countries in the world that is most vulnerable to climate change, the government formulated a new National Target Program on Climate Change in 2008, which materialised with the help of Danish support. Denmark has also taken the lead among donors and for the first time awarded USD 38.7 million over a five-year period to a programme that has a pure climate focus. Two-thirds of the support is targeted at climate change adaptation, and the rest at counteracting climate change.

China is experiencing rapid economic growth accompanied by a dramatic increase in energy consumption and extensive expansion of the energy sector. With a series of political, strategic and legislative initiatives, the Chinese government has prioritised greater use of renewable energy. The target is a proportion of 15 per cent renewable energy by 2015.

In 2008, Denmark awarded USD 19.4 million to a new environmental programme to promote in particular wind, solar and bio-energy in China. Denmark supports, for example, the preparation and start-up of a national centre for renewable energy development based on proposals by the Chinese government. The centre’s tasks will include, among other things, formulating strategies, action plans and legislation to promote renewable energy, technological development and use of renewable energy. The programme comprises also the establishment of an innovation facility designed to support partnership projects between Chinese and Danish research institutions, universities and private firms. The focus will be on developing new innovative technologies that have the potential to be marketed within three to five years.

In Kenya, Denmark and the UK have jointly financed a study of the consequences of climate change on the country’s economy. The study is designed to assess, among other things, the economic costs of climate change for Kenya and two other East African countries, and the advantages and disadvantages of adapting now and in the future. For example, periodic drought already costs Kenya today 8 per cent of GNP every five years, and floods cost 5.5 per cent of GNP every seven years. Even more extreme climate conditions will therefore risk damaging economic development in the region. The findings of the study will be ready before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009.

Denmark shares its experience regarding slums
For over a decade, Denmark has supported improvement of urban environments in South and East Africa. One of the key conclusions is that the work in slum districts needs to build on the work that the inhabitants themselves are already doing. Even the poorest invest in improving their standard of living and the place where they live. At the same time, the most successful projects have been those where local management has been the hub of the activities.

FROM THE OUTSIDE Climate wins when enterprises collaborate

In Tanzania, greenhouse gases are collected from cooling installations.

In Tanzania, greenhouse gases are collected from cooling installations.
Photo: Danida.

Bullet Yellow In Tanzania, it is normal for large amounts of greenhouse gases from the cooling installations of enterprises to be allowed to escape into the atmosphere when the installations are scrapped. Two enterprises, Uni-Cool from Denmark and Mex Equipment from Tanzania, have set up a joint venture to address this problem.

The business strategy for the joint venture is to employ and train local young people from Tanzania’s technical colleges as refrigeration technicians. These people can now build and maintain the installations and know how to prevent the greenhouse gases from escaping into the atmosphere.

”In Denmark, we always collect and purify used coolants, but there is no one else in Tanzania apart from us who does the same. We have now taken the initiative to offer collection installations and training also to rival businesses,” says Ole Hoffmann Hansen, Uni-Cool’s managing director in Denmark.

The consideration for the climate is not the only benefit for Tanzania. Up to now, the work of assembling and maintaining the cooling installations has been carried out by foreign specialists, who take both their know-how and their pay with them when they leave the country. No enterprises have dared use local labour to maintain the expensive installations, which can cost up to DKK 1 million. The training ensures that the expertise and thus also the pay income remain in Tanzania. Mohamed Rweyemamu, managing director for the new joint venture, says:

”The training has proved to be excellent for strengthening motivation, morale and self-confidence. We learn about Danish corporate practices, which I would describe as being “hard work, efficiency and quality”, and we get a direct transfer of technical know-how to the young local technicians.”

With three technicians and a turnover of USD 30,000 at the beginning, the enterprise has grown to ten technicians, two engineers and a turnover of USD 800,000.Among the customers are large companies such as Vodacom and Zain.

It was a delegation trip to Tanzania in 2004 that convinced Ole Hoffmann Hansen about the business opportunities. The partnership was established and developed with the help of support from the B2B Programme, whose aim is to promote business development in Danida programme countries as well as South Africa through supporting long-term cooperation between local and Danish enterprises.

”It would not have been possible without Danida funding”, says Ole Hoffmann Hansen.





  • Increase assistance.
  • Develop an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading system.
  • Deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt.

Global status according to the UN

  • Global development assistance funding totalled 119.6 billion in 2008. This represents an increase of USD 15.2 billion within two years.
  • The total development assistance continues to fall short of the UN target of 0.7 per cent of GNI in development assistance. Only five countries lie above the 0.7 per cent target: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
  • The Doha negotiations on free trade under WTO remain suspended following the breakdown of talks in July 2008. This is a serious setback for the global free trade agreements that could benefit developing countries.
  • The debt burden of developing countries has reduced considerably.

Denmark’s strategic priorities

  • Gradually increase development assistance and work to ensure that other countries meet their development aid commitments.
  • Increase liberalisation of international trade, with special emphasis on improving the conditions for developing countries.
  • Enhance the effectiveness of both bilateral and multilateral development cooperation, ensuring that developing countries get more for the money.

The primary responsibility for achieving the Millennium Development Goals rests with the developing countries. However, international support is crucial. Whilst the financial crisis in 2008 has caused a number of donor countries to waver in their pledge to provide development assistance, Denmark maintains its goal of gradually increasing its development assistance. In 2008, Denmark focused further attention on increasing the effectiveness of development cooperation, with the aim of ensuring that we achieve more poverty reduction for the money. Partnership between the countries of the world – both developing countries and donor countries – is a fundamental component of all Danish development assistance activities.

Bullet blue In 2008, the world felt the full brunt of the global financial crisis, which in the first instance struck the Western world hardest. But the financial crisis, and in particular the subsequent spiralling global economic downturn will also hit developing countries hard (see Millennium Development Goal 1, page 19). Falling raw material prices and declining international demand have led the World Bank to reduce its expectations regarding economic growth in Africa in the coming years.

The financial crisis has put pressure on the development budgets of donor countries. Many countries are a long way off from living up to the promises that were made regarding increased development assistance, and a few countries are seriously contemplating actually reducing their level of development assistance. But the crisis must not be allowed to be used as an excuse for not fulfilling these pledges of development assistance.

Coordination of donor assistance will in the future ease the administrative burden on recipient countries. The photo here shows a public office in Zambia.

Coordination of donor assistance will in the future ease the administrative burden on recipient countries. The photo here shows a public office in Zambia.
Photo: Thomas Marott/Danida.

Consequently, Denmark is putting pressure on all countries to meet the UN and EU target that the developed countries must designate 0.7 per cent of their GNI for development assistance.

The development banks are an important instrument in the attempt to overcome the financial and economic crisis. They are expected to increase their capital transfers to developing countries. In 2008, therefore, the G20 countries placed extra focus on the development banks. Denmark has supported this focus, but wishes a stronger focus on the least developed countries, which are also the most vulnerable countries.

Joint donor strategy for development assistance to Bangladesh

There is still a huge need for development in Bangladesh. The photo shows road building in Patuakhali.

There is still a huge need for development in Bangladesh. The photo shows road building in Patuakhali.
Photo: Jørgen Schytte/Danida

Bullet Yellow Denmark coordinates a joint country strategy for development assistance to Bangladesh involving 15 donors.

Bangladesh has a population of more than 150 million people, and there are huge challenges linked to improving the lives of the country’s 58 million poor. Despite an annual economic growth of 6 per cent, the country still has a great need for development assistance. The donor assistance amounts to approx. USD 2.3 billion annually, corresponding to 2 per cent of the country’s GNI. However, the assistance constitutes almost half of the public investment budget.

A myriad of donors as well as international and national NGOs in Bangladesh each support their own preferred programmes and projects. This poses a challenge to the work on delivering the best possible assistance. One of the greatest challenges facing the country’s authorities and the donors is to ensure that the assistance is coordinated and supports the country’s own development policies and priorities in the most optimal way.

In 2005, Bangladesh signed the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, and within the last couple of years the work on applying the declaration principles in practice has begun in earnest.

The work on formulating a joint country strategy encompassing the majority of donors in Bangladesh is now fully underway, and in 2008 Denmark assumed an active role as coordinator of this work.

Some of the major challenges in the coming years will be to reach consensus on a general and specific division of labour between the donors and in particular a modernisation of aid management in the Bengalese administration. The joint country strategy is expected to be finalised by 2010.

EU stays focused on 0.7 per cent

In 2008, Denmark increased its development assistance to USD 2.8 billion, corresponding to 0.82 per cent of GNI. Denmark works together with like-minded donors in, for example, the EU and the Nordic+¹ cooperation in an effort to put greater pressure on those countries that are far from reaching the international target of providing 0.7 per cent of GNI in development assistance.

In June 2008, the European heads of state and government reaffirmed their commitment to increase development assistance to 0.56 per cent of GNI by 2010 and 0.7 per cent by 2015. However, several EU Member States are so far from reaching the targets that they are very unlikely to succeed.

The EU has maintained its position as the world’s largest donor in general. The EU Member States finance almost 60 per cent of total OECD development assistance. A total of USD 0.27 billion – approx. 10 per cent of total Danish development assistance – is channelled through the EU system.

It makes good sense to provide development assistance through the EU system. The EU is present in over 100 countries, and the EU is the most important trading partner of many developing countries. The close historical and political ties with many of the countries, combined with the scale of EU development assistance, provides the EU with great political influence in the international development cooperation and in the political dialogue with developing countries.

Aid commitments were reaffirmed in Doha

Denmark and the other EU Member States played a crucial role in securing a positive outcome to the UN Conference on Financing for Development in Doha in Qatar at the beginning of 2008. At this conference, the participants also reaffirmed the target that all donor countries should assign 0.7 per cent of their GNI to development assistance, despite a situation where the global economic crisis constitutes a potential threat to development assistance and cooperation.

The Doha declaration retains in general the global agreement that was reached in Monterrey in Mexico in 2002. It was in Monterrey that focus was first placed on financing for development through mobilising developing countries’ own resources, international private investments and free trade benefits in the work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The responsibility of donor countries for ensuring market access and making pledges of development aid was also made more explicit.

The trade round remains a challenge

The WTO negotiations in the so-called Doha Round, which aims to ensure developing countries better access to the markets of rich countries and a fairer system of world trade, broke down in July 2008. The collapse was rooted in divisions between the major developing economies and the USA.

The Doha Round negotiations were initiated in 2001 with the aim of liberalising world trade to the benefit of developing countries and the overall global economy. The discussions focused on, among other things, reducing customs tariffs and other trade barriers (e.g. in relation to agricultural products), on promoting international trade in services, and on ensuring developing countries better conditions in the global economy. In the negotiations, Denmark makes a concerted effort together with the rest of the EU to resolve these challenges and improve the developing countries’ conditions in the world market. However, the financial and economic crisis has not made it easier to resolve the outstanding disputes.

A large proportion of the debt of developing countries has been cancelled

Debt relief is good and necessary assistance in that it frees up resources and provides the countries with the opportunity partly to take out loans in a sustainable manner and partly to invest the freed resources in fighting poverty. A large proportion of the debt of the poorest and most heavily indebted developing countries has been cancelled, but it remains a major challenge to ensure that these countries in the future are able to take out loans and manage debt in a sustainable manner, whereby such loans support growth and development. In 2008, Denmark’s bilateral debt relief totalled USD 87.1 million and was granted to, among others, Liberia, Iraq and Nigeria.

Aid effectiveness given a service check

In September 2008, Ghana’s capital, Accra, was the focal point for a high-level forum on aid effectiveness. At this meeting, the international community turned out in strength, with presidents, ministers and officials representing donors, as well as recipient countries and multilateral organisations, in order to assess whether they were on the right track towards achieving the goal of more effective development aid.

In 2005, more than 100 countries committed themselves to engaging in an effort to increase the effectiveness of aid. This takes place through the observance of five principles, which are formulated in the Paris Declaration. The principles are:

  • Recipient countries must themselves assume ownership of their own development.
  • There must be increased coordination and harmonisation between the activities of donors.
  • The aid must be adapted to the recipient country’s systems.
  • The aid must be administered with a results-oriented perspective.
  • The aid is based on mutual accountability.

In many ways, the Paris Declaration represents a new approach to development assistance that strengthens the recipient country’s influence and ensures greater mutual accountability between donors and recipients.

In Accra, it was agreed that progress had been made to increase the effectiveness of aid since the Paris Declaration – just not enough. This is evident from the reports that were prepared prior to the Accra summit. Partner countries have become better at managing development funds, and donors have become better at coordinating their activities. However, there is still much work to be done.

The transformation is a difficult process, and an extraordinary effort is required if the goals are to be achieved.

Denmark has made a concerted effort to ensure that development assistance follows the Paris Declaration objectives and has made considerable progress in relation to the ten indicators upon which donor activities are measured. Denmark has already fulfilled almost half of the goals laid down – and is well on the way to achieving the others.

Ownership is one of the key prerequisites for development. At the Accra summit, it was emphasised that the use of partner countries’ systems is an important way of strengthening long-term ownership. Specifically on this point, Denmark has been criticised for being reluctant to use national systems for administering the delivery of assistance. It is pointed out that the fear of corruption in programme countries in certain instances has made Denmark cautious of using national systems.

The problem actually reveals a lot about the dilemmas of development assistance. A balance needs to be found. On one the hand, it is essential to adopt a critical approach to how public funds are used and to what form of control mechanisms the funds are subject. Money cannot just be passed on blindly to a system that is unable to administer it. On the other hand, weak systems need to be strengthened. If responsibility for own development is simply removed and passed to foreign consultants, the result may be more secure systems – but such action will not promote much ownership of these systems. Even worse, systems which are not used never become strengthened. It is an unfortunate circle. Denmark’s attitude is that a long-term approach is needed that places emphasis on capacity building as a way of ensuring confidence in how the public funds are used. Denmark must continue its efforts to ensure the management of funds is embedded more firmly in partner countries, and that this management is carried out in a responsible manner.

In 2008, the Accra summit was thus used to put pressure on partner countries and donors to make a more determined effort to achieve the Paris Declaration objectives. It was also used for critical self-examination: a service check of the way we provide development assistance.

Denmark participated actively in the work on formulating the final action plan on increased aid effectiveness in Accra – the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA). The action plan brought an important innovation into the assistance architecture, whereby civil society organisations from both North and South have also officially joined the group of actors who monitor the implementation of the Paris Declaration. The increased involvement of civil society in the development process will partly enhance popular ownership and partly increase openness and accountability in the development cooperation, which must be expected to further promote effectiveness in development work.

Mayor in Burkina Faso forged signatures

Bullet Yellow In Burkina Faso, since 2003, Denmark has supported the country’s decentralisation process, the aim of which has been to transfer tasks, competences and resources to the local authorities and the country’s 351 municipalities.

A proportion of the Danish support was allocated to local consultants, whose task was to assess the economic potential in several municipalities. In spring 2006, the consultants approached the Danish embassy in the capital Ouagadougou, as they had not received their fees from one of the municipalities (approx. USD 4,450 in total). The embassy, together with the Ministry for Decentralisation and Local Administration, therefore began investigating the matter closely. It turned out that the mayor had forged signatures to make it appear that the consultants had been paid for their services. In truth, the mayor had pocketed the money himself. The matter was subsequently handed over to the Ministry of the Interior for further investigation. All project activities were suspended, and legal proceedings were initiated against the mayor for corruption.

A comprehensive audit was carried out of all activities. The report revealed that the embezzlement was greater than previously anticipated, i.e. approx. USD 15,675 in total. The embassy took the matter to the Ministry of Finance, and in February 2008 the embassy received the remaining funds. The total financial loss for Denmark was therefore zero kroner (see also Focus on page 49 and Appendix on page 93).

A voice from the grassroots

With a parallel conference, the NGOs stamped their mark on the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra.

With a parallel conference, the NGOs stamped their mark on the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra.
Photo: Danida.

Bullet Yellow A large number of international NGOs succeeded in having a significant influence on the international development aid agenda in 2008. This took place in connection with the well planned and professionally run NGO conference that was held in parallel with the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra in September 2008. The NGOs’ message was clear: they desired recognition as independent development actors and coinfluence on the implementation of the Paris Declaration – more effective development also concerned them! With about 80 active representatives from various civil society organisations attending the high-level forum itself, these representatives succeeded in influencing the debate as well as securing the official inclusion of civil society and its organisations as independent development actors in the text of the action plan, the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA).

The process in itself provided a very good illustration of what development also entails: The Ghanaian civil society organisations, prior to the summit, had held meetings in all districts in Ghana in order to ensure that small organisations and individuals out in rural areas were also given the opportunity to influence the overall input from the Ghanaian representatives. At the parallel NGO conference and at the summit itself, the Ghanaian NGOs presented their work and concerns, and in this way they became a voice from the grassroots – from the small to the large.

Denmark financed a significant part of the Ghanaian NGOs’ preparations leading up to the parallel conference. A number of other initiatives were supported in a similar way. The Danish support had the title “Democratic Ownership”: This was a message that was printed on the banners in Copenhagen during the spring, as many of the actors had met in Copenhagen, but which was inserted into the treaty text when the actors met together with donors and governments in Accra later during the year. Here, it was clear that ownership could not just be said to belong to “the present government”. The increased involvement of NGOs at almost all levels of development cooperation naturally raises expectations that the NGOs also increase their effectiveness and live up to the principles of the Paris Declaration and the AAA as far as possible, though without losing their own identity.

The Accra Agenda for Action - a lever for gender equality

As a new element, the Accra Agenda for Action laid down that cross-cutting issues are the cornerstones in creating long-term and sustainable changes in the lives of people in developing countries. The partner countries and donors made a commitment to ensuring that all development policies and programmes would be implemented in accordance with their international obligations regarding gender equality, human rights, disabled people and environmental sustainability. There was also agreement to work for the production of gender-segregated statistics.

Where the Paris Declaration failed to focus attention on the fact that policies and programmes affect women and men differently, gender equality has now become a permanent and integral part of the aid effectiveness agenda. The Accra Agenda for Action has therefore become an important lever for the work on promoting gender equality and women’s opportunities.

The donors may support the partner countries’ governments in their capacity building efforts, so that national policies and systems ensure achievement of the government’s own obligations and goals within gender equality. Support may also be awarded to those parts of civil society that keep their government accountable for ensuring that women are not subject to discrimination, but are guaranteed equal rights and opportunities. The stake-holders in partner countries and the donors may work together in carrying out joint analyses of the gender equality situation and women’s conditions, they can ensure a common data basis for decision-making, and they can conduct joint assessments of progress achieved in developing monitoring instruments and evaluations. Such a joint approach could contribute significantly to achieving results for women and men as well as girls and boys in Denmark’s programme countries, and thereby results also in relation to a top priority of Danish development policy.

Prior to the Accra summit, Denmark worked closely with OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and an international network of women’s organisations in order to ensure the achieved outcome. Denmark supported the holding of two international conferences on the link between aid effectiveness and the cross-cutting issues. The most recent was held in London in spring 2008 and delivered input to the preparations for the Accra summit.

Complex aid architecture challenges effectiveness

An increasing number of new donors are appearing on the scene in international development cooperation, and the recipient countries each year encounter an increasingly large number of donors in their respective country. During these years, countries like Brazil, China and India are increasing their presence in developing countries substantially. This means the availability of more funds for development, and this is positive. However, it also creates new challenges for aid effectiveness. This group of countries work primarily with a project-oriented approach, which is not coordinated with other donors or adapted to the recipient country’s systems. This increases the transaction costs for the recipient countries. The countries are not part of the DAC cooperation in the OECD domain and have not signed up to the principles of aid effectiveness that lie at the heart of much of the international development cooperation. This requires that Denmark and like-minded donors build new alliances.

The complexity is increased by an explosive rise in the number of new structures. Global or so-called vertical funds, where development funds are collected and earmarked for a specific theme such as health, environment or agriculture, have in recent years gained influence. An example is the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which receives a considerable proportion of the total multilateral development assistance. However, whilst earmarking can be an effective way of generating results in relation to a specific global problem, the funds increase the fragmentation of the aid architecture and impede the recipient countries’ own ability to prioritise. National ownership and prioritisation must often give way to the donors’ desire for visible results. This poses challenges to the harmonisation of development assistance between donors and its adaptation to the systems of recipient countries.

More focused and effective multilateral assistance

Precisely the complexity of the multilateral work is one of the reasons that Denmark prepared the analysis “Danish multilateral assistance up to 2015” in 2008. Which international organisations are the most effective? Who gets the most out of the development funds that Denmark grants? And which organisations are best able to help realise Denmark’s development policy goals? These are questions which Denmark sought to answer in 2008 in extension of the analysis.

Today, there are over 230 multilateral organisations that are all competing for the same donor funds. There is a need to focus specifically on each organisation’s comparative advantages and effectiveness in relation to specific focus areas. Denmark focuses in particular on the UN organisations that operate primarily within the field of poverty reduction. In 2008, multilateral assistance was disbursed to 96 organisations (see page 85).

The question of how to measure effectiveness in the multilateral organisations is precisely something that the donor network MOPAN (the Multilateral Organisations Performance Assessment Network, with 15 member countries) has been investigating since 2003. Up to now, a number of donor countries have each conducted their own parallel studies of the effectiveness of the multilateral organisations they support. For MOPAN countries specifically, it was discovered that over 250 different indicators were used to assess the effectiveness of the organisations.

MOPAN therefore decided to reduce the burden for everyone by finding a more integrated approach to assessing the multilateral organisations. The work in this regard was launched in 2008 and has led to the formulation of a draft proposal for a more focused and common effectiveness measurement instrument containing 19 key indicators. In 2009, Denmark will assume the role of the secretariat for the pilot implementation of this new common approach to assessing multilateral effectiveness.

Constant focus on embezzlement and misuse of development funds (see also page 93)

Bullet blue Corruption often results in an inefficient economy, a distorted distribution of public investments and lower foreign investments. In other words, it is not just about Danish capital being mismanaged, but equally as much about fraud and corruption being damaging to development.

Denmark provides development assistance to some of the world’s poorest countries, which often have weak public structures and which can be riddled with corruption. Fraud and corruption by their very nature take place out of sight, and Denmark has therefore constant focus precisely on ensuring that the development efforts, including assistance, are not exposed to such practices.

In the work on reducing the risk of corruption as much as possible, and in order to enhance the recipient countries’ own efforts to fight fraud and corruption, Denmark works with different systems.

Systems to fight corruption are integrated into the recipient countries’ own administrative structures, with the aim of ensuring that cases of fraud and corruption in regard to the resources of donors and, in particular, the countries themselves are discovered.

Denmark pursues any suspicion of misuse of funds, and Rigsrevisionen - Audit of the State Accounts - is notified of such suspicion. However, any observed financial irregularity or suspicion of fraud is not the same as saying that fraud has indeed occurred. An irregularity can also mean that a partner has gone bankrupt, that an NGO has been the victim of a robbery, or quite simply that the accounts have not been properly kept. In a few cases, Danish funds have been misused, but in several of these cases the funds have been completely or partially repaid.

Between 2004 and 2008, there were a total of 289 cases relating to irregularities with Danish development assistance. The total amount reported is USD
23.0 million. In the same period, Denmark awarded approx. USD 9,7 billion in assistance through a total of more than 7,000 programmes and projects. The precise figure for the total fraud committed is difficult to calculate, but in relation to the observed loss, it amounts to a very small proportion, i.e. well under 0.5 per cent. Each misused krone is, however, one krone too many, and this is why so much focus is placed on eliminating fraud and corruption.

In 2008, all cases relating to fraud that were sent to the Audit of the State Accounts were published on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website, along with more detailed information about fraud, including a list of all cases since 2006 where investigations have been completed . See also

[1] Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, UK and Netherlands.




Democracy, human rights, peace and stability are important for progress in developing countries and play a major role in Danish development assistance, even though they are only indirectly affected by the Millennium Development Goals. Among the key activities in these areas in 2008 were support towards building democratic institutions, political dialogue with partner countries on human rights and democracy as well as a new strategy for the engagement in Afghanistan.

Bullet blue Human development comprises not only economic and social prosperity, but also the protection of the individual’s rights, peace and ability to participate in the democratic process. Often, it is the disasters and the urgent need for help that steal the headlines, but the sustained, long-term effort to achieve peace, stability and a democratic political development is equally important.

Lessons learned from, for example, Africa show that countries with political stability experience the most positive economic development (see Focus, page 18). In a study conducted in 2005, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) concluded that armed conflict is the key cause of hunger and starvation in the world. For this reason, peace and stability are directly linked together with development and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

DKK 1 billion to democratisation

Denmark has considerable experience of supporting democratisation. In 2008, Denmark spent bilaterally approx. USD 0.3 billion of its total development assistance budget of USD 2.8 billion on programmes and projects that directly promote good governance, democracy and human rights. This is an increase of approx. 50 per cent over a period of five years. The funds are channelled towards, among other things, preparation and holding of elections, the fight against corruption, development of a free press and judicial systems, and education about democracy. Promoting democracy and respect for human rights is also a cross-cutting issue in all activities relating to Danish development cooperation.

Direct development assistance to democracy and human rights is first and foremost provided through bilateral efforts that in 2008 comprised multi-annual thematic programmes in all programme countries. The work with new programmes within democracy and human rights was launched in three countries: Bhutan, Burkina Faso and Tanzania.

Denmark’s goal is to implement coordinated and strategic efforts in accordance with the principles set out in the Paris Declaration (see page 47). This offers the greatest long-term effect. In sector programmes and thematic programmes, this goal is achieved by ensuring that partners in, for example, programme countries, acquire ownership of the programmes and projects. The partners comprise parliaments, ombudsmen, civil society organisations, courts, etc.

For example, the new programme to promote good governance, democracy and human rights in Tanzania, which was launched in 2008 in the country’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, comprises the university in Dar es Salaam, two independent media organisations and three legal counselling services. Denmark endeavours also to coordinate the efforts with other donors. This thematic approach provides the platform for the Danish efforts in all programme countries.

Denmark’s overall support to Danish NGOs working to promote democracy, human rights and good governance in developing countries amounted to USD 71.8 million in 2008. With the new Danish Civil Society Strategy from December 2008, Denmark strengthens its support for promoting a strong, independent and diverse civil society in developing countries. The strategy was formulated in close cooperation with the organisations and movements in Denmark that collaborate with civil society in developing countries. The strategy is designed to, for example, strengthen advocacy work among the organisations. This means, for example, that an organisation that aims to promote women’s health also works for political change that benefits these women.

In addition, support is channelled through the so-called Democracy and Human Rights Frame, which in 2008 amounted to USD 30.0 million. In 2008, the support was awarded to, for example, the international NGO, Transparency International, which works in the field of anti-corruption, and to the office of the Danish Ombudsman, which has worked on establishing and strengthening ombudsman institutions in several developing countries.

Denmark supports also international organisations in their efforts to promote democracy, human rights and good governance. In 2008, the Danish support was awarded to, for example, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

In 2008, Denmark conducted an analysis of the multilateral efforts (see page 49). The results of the analysis are now being followed up, with better focus on the multilateral assistance is tightened and the interaction between multilateral and bilateral assistance – also within democracy and human rights. In the future, priorities will be revised, where the number of small grants will be reduced and priority will be given to selected, strategically important projects and programmes. The tightened focus will be realised in the implementation of the forthcoming strategy to promote democracy and human rights in development cooperation, which is due to be published during 2009.

COMMENTARY by Karuti Kanyinga:

Karuti Kanyinga

Evaluation of elections is very important

Bullet red “The international community including Denmark supported the general elections in Kenya in 2007 with, among other things, voter education. What went right and what went wrong with this effort?

What went right? The voter education programme objective was to promote free and fair elections through improved awareness of electoral processes. Results: people were able to relate elections to issues of leadership and local governance. Secondly, the elections up-to the day of polling was relatively peaceful compared to previous elections. Thirdly, there was increased voter turn-out recorded at 70 per cent. This was attributable to voter education. The programme reached about 35 per cent of the registered voters and close to about 46 per cent of the actual number of people who actually voted.

What went wrong? The programme had several weaknesses. Among these was the late start up of the programme activities. This was a significant weakness because donors had lessons from which to learn. Lessons from the past initiatives tended to underline the need for continuous civic and voter education. This lesson was not followed. The programme delivered activities when politicians were already mobilising for political support. Voter messages competed against negative currents. The programme did not have content on negative ethnicity. Some people had argued that ethnicity is a sensitive topic to handle in voter education. But politicians used ethnicity as a mobilising tool. Voter education materials did not help.

An important problem among donors is that they are poor in recording lessons and recording and storing institutional memory. Records on what went right or wrong are usually difficult to trace –they are somewhere among individuals who are always on the move from one country station to another. They are among local governance advisors who are always on the move from one agency to another. Danida suffered this weakness too.”

Karuti Kanyinga is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi, and Consultant with South Consulting, Nairobi.

Democratic elections in Kenya, Afghanistan and Bhutan

A core element of the work to promote democracy and human rights is support for democratic elections. Here, voters have an opportunity to reward or punish the government’s performance and elect politicians who represent the population’s interests. But 2008 also provided examples of situations where elections and violence sometimes go hand in hand.

Denmark supported the holding of elections in Kenya in December 2007. The support went to, among other things, voter education and information activities and to NGOs who monitored the election process. Extensive institutional reforms of the Electoral Commission and election procedures were not carried out due to resistance and inertia on the part of the Commission as well as lack of interest on the part of the government. The election was unfortunately the starting gun for political unrest and violence. A subsequent investigation has shown that the Electoral Commission, which was responsible for running the election, lacked the necessary competence and independence, and thus generated great uncertainty about the election result.

The lesson to be learned by the international donor community is that there is a need for a firmer line in the dialogue with the authorities that are responsible for implementing democratic elections, in order to ensure that problems are addressed in due time. It is also necessary to recognise that there will be risks associated with holding democratic elections in countries that have no long democratic tradition. Support for political processes of this type is central for promoting democracy, but the efforts must be monitored closely. These lessons will feed into the new strategy to promote democracy and human rights.

For the second time in the country’s history, Afghanistan is on the verge of holding democratic presidential elections in autumn 2009, where among other things, a new president, is to be elected. However, it is far from certain that the election results will be accepted as legitimate by the whole of Afghan society. The country does not have a democratic culture or tradition for peaceful transfer of power, and the war amplifies the challenges. At the same time, the local authorities that have the responsibility for organising and holding the elections do not possess the necessary capacity. The international support for the elections will therefore be of vital importance. In 2008, Denmark provided USD 0.7 million through UNDP in support for the election preparations, with focus on capacity building of the Afghan Electoral Commission. There will probably be need for additional support in 2009.

In contrast, Bhutan made a peaceful transition to becoming the world’s youngest democracy in 2008. In March, over 300,000 voters were for the first time ever given the opportunity to vote in a parliamentary election. The election was conducted efficiently, with an electoral turn-out of almost 80 per cent. On 18 July, after in-depth debate, the newly elected parliament approved Bhuton’s first democratic constitution, in which the king had limited power. The birth of the new democratic Bhutan had been helped well on the way by Danish support for the democratisation process since 1997.

Also Nepal took an important step forward towards democracy in 2008 (see FROM THE OUTSIDE, page 53).

Young people drafting a proposal for a new constitution in Nepal

125 young Nepalese draw up their own proposal for a constitution.

125 young Nepalese draw up their own proposal for a constitution.
Photo: Danida.

Bullet Yellow If you wish to bring about change and modernisation, then the youth are a natural place to start. This was the idea behind the decision to invite 125 young Nepalese students to formulate their own proposals for a new constitution. The Nepalese NGO Alliance for Peace had proposed the project, which Denmark supported.

”It was a really exciting and instructive experience for us, which made us realise how much power and potential we as young people have when we work together to achieve our interests,” says one of the participants, Suresh Karki, a university student from the city of Biratnagar.

He and the other young participants discussed the key items to be included in a new constitution, such as the transformation of Nepal into a federal state, the justice system, basic human rights, and the planning of the country’s executive and legislature. The result was a proposal for a new constitution which was handed over to the chairman of Nepal’s real Constituent Assembly at the end of the project. For six months prior to the assembly, all the young people were educated in central issues, such as constitutional processes and democratic values.

The project was launched just before the elections to Nepal’s Constituent Assembly on 10 April 2008. The election forms part of the peace process that was initiated in 2006 after several years’ civil war between the king, the established political system and Maoist rebels.

Probably the greatest problem in Nepal is that large sections of the population are kept from having influence for reasons of caste, gender, age, religion and ethnicity. Its society has traditionally been led by a small elite of older high-caste men from Kathmandu. This has made it difficult to bring about change and modernise Nepal. If democracy is to work, the new constitution must reflect the needs and expectations of the entire population.

The 125 young participants in the constitution project came from a range of different educational institutions, and they represented different ethnic, political, religious and caste groups. The process was far from smooth. There were major differences of opinion between the participants, but eventually the young people were able to reach a compromise. With the project, they have demonstrated the value of utilising the resource that young people are.

Danish focus on human rights

In 2008, Denmark maintained its focus on human rights, both in the bilateral and the multilateral development cooperation, for example, in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and through the political dialogue that the EU has pursued with a number of countries. Through both the multilateral fora and in the bilateral political dialogue in, for example, the programme countries, Denmark seeks to promote issues such as freedom of expression and women’s rights. In 2008, Denmark sat at the table when EU ministers discussed the situation in Burma, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Furthermore, Denmark played an active role in the follow-up in relation to these countries’ governments.

In October 2008, Denmark took over the chairmanship of the Human Rights Task Team set up under the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), which is the primary unit for cooperation with developing countries. The group seeks, among other things, to implement the principles set out in the Paris Declaration (see page 47) in the work to safeguard and promote human rights. Denmark will promote this work in partnership with UNICEF, which co-chairs the Task Team for the two-year period.

In the bilateral cooperation, Denmark has, among other things, supported the establishment and running of two human rights research centres at Vietnam’s National University in Hanoi and at Ho Chi Minh City’s University of Law, respectively. The Danish support goes towards building research and teaching capacity and in the longer term towards establishing a national research network in human rights, which aims to result in a broader strategy for teaching about human rights in Vietnam. The Danish Institute for Human Rights provides professional consultancy support.

A large part of the Danish support for human rights in developing countries goes towards reform of legal systems. The objective is to promote the rule of law and provide better protection in particular for poor and marginalised groups. Since 1989, a Danish-supported programme in Mozambique has, among other things, contributed to raising professional standards among staff in the country’s legal system, increased the accessibility of poor people to legal aid, and supported a modernisation of the justice system.

A special element in the Danish support has been a focus on informal and traditional justice systems. In Zambia, 90 per cent of all judgments are delivered in local courts, which pass sentence according to unwritten custom law rather than written law. Denmark has supported a project in Zambia with the aim of strengthening the local courts and the connection between the informal and informal justice system. An important element is to ensure respect for human rights within informal legal practices.

Local courts in Lusaka, Zambia.

Local courts in Lusaka, Zambia.
Photo: Thomas Marott/Danida.

Emergency humanitarian relief in Burma, Georgia and southern Africa

In 2008, Denmark gave a total of USD 0.25 billion in direct humanitarian assistance to alleviate the consequences and help the victims in the wake of natural disasters and armed conflicts. This comprises emergency humanitarian efforts, long-term efforts, regions-of-origin efforts for refugees and internally displaced people as well as the international humanitarian service of experts that at short notice can be deployed to the world’s hotspots.

In 2008, Denmark gave emergency relief totalling USD 116.7 million in connection with war and disasters that took away livelihoods and drove people to flee. The most serious disaster in 2008 took place in Burma, where the cyclone Nargis in May caused floods to an area of 23,500 km² or almost the size of Jutland. A total of 140,000 people died or have been reported missing. A total of 2.4 million people partially or completely lost their homes and livelihoods. Denmark allocated approx. USD 9.7 million to emergency relief in Burma, which was partly channelled through the Danish Red Cross, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA). The funds went towards providing, for example, blankets, mosquito nets, food and water purification equipment. An additional USD 4.8 million was subsequently allocated, partly through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Save the Children Denmark and UNICEF, towards early reconstruction and disaster risk reduction, improvement in the food situation and the re-establishment of the education sector.

In August 2008, forces from Russia and Georgia clashed in South Ossetia, and this led also to a Danish humanitarian effort. Denmark allocated USD 0.6 million to the Danish Red Cross’ emergency relief effort and deployed ten observers to the civilian observer mission that the EU had dispatched to Georgia. Under the so-called Neighbourhood Programme, Denmark, in cooperation with the Danish Refugee Council, launched efforts to help internally displaced people who were unable to return home immediately. The objective is to enable the internally displaced to provide for themselves, partly through providing them with subsidies to buy sowing seed, small livestock and agricultural tools, and to start up small businesses.

In southern Africa, between half a million and one million people were affected by large floods in February. The Danish contribution of USD 1.9 million for emergency relief was provided as a response to a UN appeal on behalf of Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, the humanitarian situation worsened throughout 2008, and by the end of the year the shortage of food was so great that the country was on the verge of a large-scale humanitarian disaster. Denmark awarded a total of USD 6.4 million in humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe in 2008.

Uganda. Local law enforcement officers on patrol.

Uganda. Local law enforcement officers on patrol.
Photo: Jørgen Schytte/Danida.

Support to long-term efforts in Sudan and Somalia

The rapid humanitarian assistance in response to war and disasters is absolutely vital. However, the long-term efforts made in connection with prolonged conflicts are at least equally as important.

In 2008, Denmark also engaged in a long-term effort in Sudan. Since the end of 2005, when North Sudan and South Sudan signed a peace agreement, Denmark has supported the country with more than USD 96.8 million.

The Danish efforts support the peace process and make it possible, among other things, for refugees and internally displaced people to return home and to ensure schooling for the returnees’ children. In 2008, the cooperation with Sudan’s authorities in the North were hampered by visa and intra-trade restrictions that were imposed on Danes and Danish products in the wake of the reprinting of the drawings of the Prophet Mohammed in February 2008.

In Somalia, Denmark’s humanitarian support rose from around USD 2.3 million in 2007 to USD 9.1 million in 2008 as a result of drought, crisis and conflict. It is estimated that more than three million people are in need of assistance. Denmark has also awarded USD 6.4 million towards helping internally displaced people and refugees who return from exile in neighbouring countries. In total, USD 7.7 million was awarded to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the purpose of promoting capacity building and application of rule-of-law principles among law enforcement bodies. In addition, Denmark contributed with USD 1.9 million to the international NGO Interpeace’s efforts to engage in dialogue with Somali women with the aim of involving them in the peace processes. The peace in Somalia is fragile, and there is a need for close interaction between the political, humanitarian and developmental efforts.

Besides the Humanitarian Assistance Frame of USD 0.25 billion, Denmark provides assistance through the so-called Stability and conflict Frame. The frame is used to provide direct support towards promoting stability in several countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, including Sudan and Somalia. The funds from the frame are also allocated to international organisations such as the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and the United Nations Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery. In 2008, the frame amounted to USD 21.3 million.

The efforts to combat terrorism and radicalisation under scrutiny

In 2008, Denmark conducted an analysis of anti-terrorism and anti-radicalisation efforts in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mali and Tanzania. The aim was to identify and document good practice for how the recipient countries’ capacity in this area could be built up as part of the development programmes. Denmark is one of the countries that have made the most progress in examining which challenges face developing countries and how the development cooperation can contribute to tackling them effectively.

The final report highlights especially that ownership is crucial if the cooperation is to be effective. If the countries themselves do not give priority to tackling terrorism and radicalisation and translate their stated commitment into national policies, the support provided by donors will probably not have any great effect. Indonesia is a good example of how national commitment yields success. After the bomb attacks on Bali in October 2005, the government in Indonesia has increased its focus on tackling terrorism, and the international support has contributed to producing good results. The conclusions of the analysis will be incorporated in the work on revising the efforts to combat terrorism and radicalisation as part of Danish development cooperation and in the UN domain.

Migration Information and Management Centre in Mali supports education and employment

Many migrants seek better financial opportunities in more developed countries, and therefore migration is closely linked together with development. The number of migrants in the world reached 190 million in 2005. This is the highest figure ever. Danish development cooperation focuses on the underlying reasons for migration, but Denmark also supports capacity building within regional organisations and national institutions in partner countries.

In 2008, Denmark supported a new Centre for Migration Information and Management in Mali’s capital, Bamako. The establishment of the centre is financed by the EU Commission and is the first of its kind. Mali is one of Africa’s poorest countries and has a very long tradition of migration. Three million of the country’s inhabitants live abroad. The objective of the centre is to reduce emigration, which drains the country of human resources, and to help reintegrate returning migrants. Individuals who are contemplating migration can contact the centre for information about living conditions and regulations regarding entry and residence/work permits in other countries. The centre liaises with job centres and education and training centres in Mali, and together they can seek out opportunities for employment or upgrading skills and qualifications in Mali as an alternative to migration. The centre will also inform people about the risks that illegal immigrants expose themselves to, and will gather information about the reasons for migration and the trends in migration flows.

New Afghanistan Strategy places emphasis on an integrated approach

Bullet blue Denmark’s political, military and civilian efforts in Afghanistan must go hand in hand. This is the main principle in the Afghanistan Strategy 2008-2012, which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence published in June 2008.

The strategy emphasises the necessity of close joint planning and coordination of the military and civilian efforts in Afghanistan. This applies particularly to the Helmand Province, which is where the Danish contingents are concentrated and where Denmark deployed five civilian advisers in 2008. This represents a further development of the traditional approach to the efforts in fragile or conflict-affected states where the armed forces participate. Previously, the military forces would secure an area first, after which the reconstruction and development work would begin. The civilian and military elements have thus been two separate and delimited efforts. If progress is to be made in Afghanistan, the military fight against the rebel groups must take place alongside efforts to extend the presence of the Afghan authorities to other parts of the country in order to ensure the provision of basic services, such as safe drinking water, sanitation, healthcare services and schooling for the local population.

Consequently, military and civilian personnel must work on the basis of a common objective, namely to contribute to the development of a stable and more developed Afghanistan which can assume responsibility for its own security, continue down the path of democratic development and promote respect for human rights. The coordinated efforts already begin during the training of a number of the soldiers who are to implement reconstruction projects as part of the military efforts, the so-called Civilian-Military Cooperation (CIMIC). During the training, the soldiers receive instruction from civilian advisers about Afghan culture, economy and society. The close dialogue continues in Helmand, where the civilian advisers and the Danish CIMIC soldiers collaborate on implementing small and large-scale reconstruction projects. The integrated approach is continued at home in Denmark, where, for example, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs participate in a joint working group that coordinates the Danish engagement in Afghanistan.

The integrated approach to peacekeeping efforts, conflict management and reconstruction is gaining an increasing foothold in international efforts in fragile and conflict-affected states. For example, the concept of joint leadership is being introduced in new missions, where the senior envoy from, for example, the UN has responsibility for both the military and civilian components of the engagement.

The integrated civilian and military approach has resulted in the establishment of more than 550 projects in Afghanistan. Up until now, the majority of the projects have been small-scale stabilisation operations. For example, Danish soldiers have helped the inhabitants of the town of Gereshk in the Helmand Province to obtain trucks for the town’s overburdened refuse collection workers. The new Afghanistan Strategy ensures that both the small CIMIC and stabilisation projects and the more long-term reconstruction and development efforts support the same common objective.

Photo: Jørgen Schytte / Danida

Photo: Jørgen Schytte / Danida


Bullet blue Again in 2008, the frame was fully utilised, and gross interest support was disbursed amounting to USD 75.2 million. The grants for the year amounted to USD 44.9 million, which was awarded to four new projects. This represents a reduction in relation to 2007, when USD 74.5 million was awarded. In addition, the Danish Committee for Mixed Credits approved grant increases of approx. USD 38.7 million for a major road-building project in Tanzania as well as for a water and port project in Sri Lanka. All three projects were launched in 2008 after several years’ preparation.

The relatively modest grant disbursements in 2008 should be seen in the light of the Committee’s strategic priorities, which, among other things, take a point of departure in tightened development assistance screening. The strategy was adopted on the basis of the scheme’s great success and record-high grants of previous years, which to a considerable extent absorb the coming years’ disbursement frames. Focus was thus on prioritising the projects submitted and on taking the large pipeline of already grant-approved projects to implementation. Furthermore, the Committee decided to prioritise projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. The projects in this region have proved to be difficult and time-consuming to develop and prepare, and consequently only one major project was awarded grant funding in 2008 – a telecommunications project in Mozambique. The size of the grant was, on the other hand, USD 18.7 million – or 42 per cent of the grant funding allocated to new projects in 2008.

Besides projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, greater priority was assigned to projects relating to sustainable energy, energy efficiency and improvement of the environment. Three of the approved projects therefore related to climate and environment: a wastewater project, a drinking water project and a large-scale district heating project, all three of which were to be carried out in China. The projects contribute to improving the environment, locally and globally.

Documents containing all data on approved and screened projects can be found at

What is a mixed credit?

A mixed credit is a combination of loan credit and grant aid. With a mixed credit, Denmark can support development projects that cannot be financed either according to normal market principles or by pure grant aid.

A mixed credit corresponds to a normal export credit, except that interest, export credit premium and other financial costs are paid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. With a mixed credit, the developing country can thus finance the import of equipment and services for projects with interest-free loans. In the evaluation of projects, mixed credits, like other forms of development assistance, have the overall goal of reducing poverty in developing countries.

The subsidy element, i.e. the total support provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, in a mixed credit must be at least 35 per cent in low and middle-income countries and 50 per cent in the least developed countries. In order to avoid distortion of competition, the projects may not be commercially viable under normal market conditions. Projects with a contract sum of under approx. USD 3.3 million (SDR 2 million) and projects in the least developed countries are exempted from this rule.

As a rule, projects are conducted under the tied scheme, i.e. that only Danish firms can bid for the supply contracts. For each project, it is assessed whether there are a sufficient number of Danish suppliers to ensure competition. If this is not the case, the projects may be implemented under the untied scheme, in which all enterprises in OECD countries can submit contract bids. The untied scheme can only be used in Denmark’s programme countries and in South Africa.

Fish breeding in the world’s largest artificial lake

Fish breeding in Ghana. Here, a bridge is being built out to the fish, making it unnecessary to feed and catch fish from a boat and allowing for food to be driven out there and fish in.

Fish breeding in Ghana. Here, a bridge is being built out to the fish, making it unnecessary to feed and catch fish from a boat and allowing for food to be driven out there and fish in.
Photo: Secretariat for Mixed Credits

Bullet Yellow The population growth in Ghana increases the demand for food, including fish. Many years of overfishing in the sea and rivers has, however, heavily depleted the natural fish stocks. In order to meet demand, Ghana must therefore import 800,000 tonnes of fish each year.

Increased self-sufficiency can be ensured by taking advantage of the fact that Ghana has the world’s largest artificial lake – the more than 500km-long Lake Volta, which was built in 1965 to produce hydropower for the blossoming industrial production. A local fish processing enterprise wishes to breed tilapia in the southern end of the large lake. In order to do so, the enterprise needs to find a partner who can provide know-how and technology. In addition, facilities are needed for hatching larva and breeding fish spawn, along with fish cages for restocking of fish, etc.

In accordance with the strategic prioritisation of business development and integrated use of development instruments, development assistance provided through Danida’s Business-to-Business (B2B) Programme has been used to establish cooperation with a Danish enterprise and USD 1.8 million has been allocated to training, establishment of wastewater purification and water recirculation installations. The cooperation has developed into a joint venture, with the task now being to develop the activities. Mixed credits have subsequently been introduced, and in 2008 the Committee screened the project with an anticipated support of approx. USD 0.7 million towards funding of equipment for approx. USD 1.7 million.

The mixed credit is to be used to establish access roads and to purchase production equipment, tractors, boats, fish cages, etc. The project aims to generate employment and economic growth in the area around the southern end of Lake Volta, and at the same time increase Ghana’s self-sufficiency in food.

Promoting business development through support for small-scale business projects that could help generate production and employment in the recipient country was an area that continued to receive heavy focus. In 2008, a review was conducted of the small-scale business projects implemented in the most recent years under the Mixed Credit Scheme. There was particular focus on the framework conditions for these projects. The review led to a number of recommendations that the Mixed Credits Programme will strive to implement in 2009 with the aim of increasing the number of small-scale business projects, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Future projects

At the end of 2008, there were 11 screened projects divided between six countries – projects that the Committee has judged suitable for financing with a mixed credit. In accordance with the strategic priorities, seven of these projects are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. These concern a communications and fishing project in Ghana, two projects on sustainable energy in Kenya, an agricultural and electrification project in Uganda, and an electrification project in Mozambique.

Similarly in line with the strategic priorities, the four other screened projects are all within environment and climate. These concern a project for waste oil management in Bhutan, and three projects within drinking water and sanitation in Vietnam.

The year’s gearing rate

The year’s gearing rate is an expression of the scale of development projects and deliveries that each Danish development assistance kroner has generated. The gearing rate has been calculated on the basis of already approved projects which received a final disbursement commitment during 2008 after having been subjected to a competitive tender procedure. The grant sum for the projects is thus determined in relation to the size of the specific deliveries.

In 2008, final commitments for support were issued to four projects amounting to USD 120.4 million and a combined contract sum of USD 254.1 million. This produces a gearing rate of approx. 2.1, which is slightly lower than in 2007, when it was 2.3. The lower gearing rate is due primarily to the fact that a large proportion of the commitments in 2008 were given to the least developed countries, where the proportion of grant aid is 50 per cent. This results in a higher proportion of development funding per contract, and thus a lower gearing rate.

Disbursed interest support, etc. 2004-2008 (in USD millions)
Year Gross interest support, etc.
2004 40.7
2005 51.4
2006 63.5
2007 74.3
2008 75.2

Run-down airports in Mozambique

Mixed Credits support a project on building construction and equipment for airports in Mozambique.

Mixed Credits support a project on building construction and equipment for airports in Mozambique.
Photo: Steffen Møller, Pihl Semco Joint Venture.

Bullet Yellow Even though Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest countries, air traffic has great importance due to the geographical size and length of the country. Air traffic has risen dramatically in recent years and this has contributed to increased economic growth and employment. Furthermore, the airports are vital connections in emergency situations, which was demonstrated during the floods in 2000 and 2001, when it proved impossible to transport emergency relief by land.

However, Mozambique has an urgent need to upgrade three airports in the central and northern provinces in order to enhance aircraft safety and maintain the international transport and trade.

The surfaces on the take-off and landing runways, taxiways and front areas were built in the 1970s and have only received sporadic maintenance. Radar, navigation and communications equipment are also worn out. Consequently, the Committee has approved a project that is presently under implementation and which is financed through a mixed credit of USD 35.5 million, divided between building construction and equipment. Danida’s support is approx. USD 20.5 million. The improvement of the airports will subsequently facilitate more efficient air traffic and attract traffic and activity, and thus contribute to promoting continued economic development.

District heating in a cold district

Small coal-fired power plants pollute in China, and Mixed Credits therefore supports, among other things, a district heating project in the northeastern part of the country.

Small coal-fired power plants pollute in China, and Mixed Credits therefore supports, among other things, a district heating project in the northeastern part of the country.
Photo: Secretariat for Mixed Credits.

Bullet Yellow A total of 330,000 inhabitants live in a poor part of the city of Datong in northeastern China, where the temperature in winter can fall as low as minus 30 degrees. At present, the houses are supplied energy from 226 small coal-fired power plants that only utilise 35-40 per cent of the energy in the coal. The billowing plants have low chimney stacks that are level with the residential housing, and the plants store their coal in large open-air bunkers. Coal and smoke have put Datong on the list of China’s ten most polluted cities.

Mixed Credits supports a district heating project that is designed to provide environmentally friendly and secure heating supply to the inhabitants. With the new district heating system, up to 80-90 per cent of the energy can be utilised. The small coal-fired plants can thus be replaced by surplus heating from a modern power plant. In order to channel the heating from the large power plant out into the homes, 82 heating exchange stations need to be built and 57 km of district heating pipe laid. Everything is controlled by a computer-based system.

The project benefits the environment and climate as well as energy efficiency. It will also improve public health, because the air in the city will become cleaner. In addition, the project will benefit the poorest part of the population, which will be afforded stable and climate-friendly heating at low prices.

The project will be implemented with support from Mixed Credits amounting to approx. USD 18.2 million and will generate a contract of approx. USD 44.5 million

Projects awarded support in 2008 (in USD million)
Country Sector Project Title Contract Loan Grant
China Drinking Water and Sanitation Shannan New District Water Supply Project 11.7 11.7 4.5
China Other Energy Datong District Heating Project 44.5 43.9 18.1
China Drinking Water and Sanitation Guangde Waste Water Treatment Plant Project 7.6 7.4 3.6
Mozambique Communication Backbone Transmission Network, Phase III 30.1 24.1 18.7
Total:     94.0 87.1 45.0

Photo: Jørgen Schytte / Danida

Photo: Jørgen Schytte / Danida



Afghanistan Flag

 Area 652,090 km2
 Population 25 million
 Annual population growth 2.1 %
 GNI per capita N/A
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 110.7
 Life expectancy 42.1 years
 Source: Human Development Report 07/08  
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 51.3 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 State building  
 Improvement of living conditions  

Afghanistan Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 260 257
Children attending primary school (%) N/A N/A N/A
Access to safe drinking water (%) 21¹ 22


Bullet blue Economy and politics
Afghanistan is one of the world’s poorest countries. Annual economic growth is approx. 10 per cent, but is primarily driven by donor-funded building projects. International support accounts for up to 90 per cent of public expenditure and constitutes around 50 per cent of GNP.

The development of the private sector is hampered by continued instability, by the lack of basic infrastructure and regulation, and by the country’s weak justice system. A total of 80-90 per cent of the economic activity takes place in the unofficial economy.

Afghanistan produces over 90 per cent of the world’s opium. The narcotics industry contributes to increasing corruption at all levels of society, which undermines the general development in Afghanistan. However, broad international efforts to combat the narcotics industry and corruption are showing results. Of the country’s 34 provinces, 18 were free of opium in 2008. This is triple the number at the beginning of 2007.

Afghanistan’s democratic system is still in its infancy, and the state and provincial administration generally suffers from extremely limited capacity, unclarified areas of authority, weak leadership, poor wages and salaries, corruption and abuse of power. This makes it difficult for the central government to gain a foothold in the provinces.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Afghanistan’s National Development Strategy focuses on increasing security, strengthening democracy and good governance, and reducing poverty. However, there is still a long way to go before Afghanistan achieves the Millennium Development Goals. Over half of Afghanistan’s population still live in extreme poverty, around 45 per cent face hunger and starvation, and food security has been worsened by several years of drought. Unemployment is very high, and wages are often too low to enable people to provide for their family.

Average life expectancy is only slightly above 40 years. This is partly due to the extremely high level of maternal and child mortality, as Afghan women have poor access to birth clinics. Women continue to face extensive discrimination and marginalisation, and despite parliamentary representation, they still have only negligible influence in Afghan politics.

The support to Afghanistan is essential for achieving stability, security and development. With the help of support, over six million children, two million of which are girls, attend school. However, it is difficult to keep the children in education due to culture, poverty and security.

The Danish and international efforts focus on strengthening Afghanistan’s own capacity, in an effort to enable the country in the long term to assume responsibility for its own security, to continue along the path of democratic development, and to promote respect for human rights. The total Danish development assistance to Afghanistan (bilateral and multilateral) amounted to approx. DKK 350 million in 2008. The assistance was targeted at creating better living conditions through economic growth and employment, ensuring provision of primary school education for girls and boys, and state building, with a focus on human rights and women’s participation.

Geographically, Denmark focuses a part of the efforts on the southern Helmand Province, where the Taliban and other rebels continue to operate and hamper reconstruction. In the province, Denmark has agreed a division of labour with the UK and has assumed a special responsibility for the education sector. At the same time, quick and visible projects will be implemented in the Danish area of operation in collaboration with the deployed forces.

Bullet blue Future
Presidential elections are due to be held in 2009 and provincial council and parliamentary elections are due to be held in 2010. The local authorities lack the necessary capacity to organise and hold the elections, and therefore international support from donors, including Denmark, will be vital.

The Afghanistan economy will grow in the coming years, but according to the Afghanistan National Development Strategy 2008-2013, the support will continue to account for 78 per cent of the budgeted expenditure. In the period 2009-2012, Danish development assistance will be approx. USD 87.1 million annually. This makes Afghanistan one of the biggest recipients of Danish assistance.



 Area 144,000 km2
 Population 158.6 million
 Annual population growth 1.6 %
 GNI per capita USD 470
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 7.8
 Life expectancy 63.7 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 46.9 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Water and sanitation  
 Good governance and human rights  

Bangladesh Map

Poverty indicators


1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 149 69
Children attending primary school (%) 86.4¹ 92.1²
Access to safe drinking water (%) 783 80

, 2004, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

Despite the global economic downturn, natural disasters and fall in confidence among private investors, the stable economic development in Bangladesh continued in 2008. In recent years, agriculture and industry contributed significantly to the economic growth, which in 2008 was approx. 6.2 per cent. Particularly in the second half of the year, Bangladesh experienced relatively strong economic growth, which saw textile exports rise. The same happened with the remittances from Bangladeshis working abroad.

The economy was not the only area which saw improvement in 2008. Bangladesh held the most free, fair and peaceful elections ever in the country’s history. The Awami League (AL) party won a landslide victory and secured a majority of more than two-thirds of the seats in parliament. AL’s leader, Sheikh Hasina, was elected prime minister, and she appointed a government that was not tainted by corruption.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Bangladesh is one of the world’s poorest and most densely populated countries. However, it is experiencing relatively good social development among a large section of the population. A young democracy, a large poor population and increased religious radicalisation are challenges facing Bangladesh, for example in the country’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

The proportion of poor people has fallen from 49 per cent in 2000 to a present figure of approx. 38 per cent. More than 55 million people continue to live in deep poverty, and there are great differences in the living standards between women and men.

Bangladesh is on the way to achieving the Millennium Development Goals for infant and child mortality, and has already achieved the goal of ensuring equal access to primary school education for girls and boys. There remain, however, major challenges in relation to the goals of ensuring equal access to basic healthcare and education services for the poor and reducing the number of malnourished people. Natural disasters and rising food prices have had a negative impact on the general efforts to reduce poverty.

In November 2008, the government approved a new poverty reduction strategy. In 2008, the government and 15 donors reached an agreement to formulate a joint country strategy aimed at improving donor coordination and division of labour, and thus increasing aid effectiveness.

In 2008, the total Danish bilateral assistance to Bangladesh amounted to USD 46.9 million. The Danish bilateral assistance is awarded primarily to programmes within water and sanitation, agriculture and roads in rural districts, as well human rights and good governance. In 2008, climate screening of sector programmes within agriculture, water and sanitation began. Denmark has also supported two pilot projects within climate and contributed to a Climate Change Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

Bullet blue Future

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the government face great challenges. The election result was interpreted as a clear desire on the part of the electorate for change in the direction of a moderate and secular Bangladesh free of corruption, fundamentalism and terrorism.

There is a need to create more favourable conditions for private and foreign investments, and to modernise the public sector.

This will require continued focus on fighting corruption and the continuation of a series of key reforms within decentralisation, law enforcement, rural administration, separation of the courts from administrative control and a commission on human rights.

Climate change constitutes a danger to economic development in the country and to the poorest section of the population. Climate change adaptation needs to be integrated into the country’s development strategies and budgets.


Benin Flag

 Area 112,600 km2
 Population 9.0 million
 Annual population growth 3.0 %
 GNI per capita USD 570
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 42.8
 Life expectancy 56.2 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 48.2 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Water and sanitation  
 Good governance and human rights  

Benin Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 185 148
Children attending primary school (%) 41.1¹ 82.8
Access to safe drinking water (%) 632

1991, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

Despite the global financial and economic crisis, the country experienced an economic growth of 5.1 per cent in 2008. Benin’s economy is dependent on special transit trade with neighbouring countries and cotton exports. The absence of diversification is an obstacle to social and economic development. The port in Cotonou, which is the central nerve centre for the transit trade, is inefficient, and despite a rise in transit trade, the revenues from the port are falling.

In 2008, the government, led by the former director of the West African Development Bank, Boni Yayi, focused also on generating increased economic growth as a precondition for reducing poverty.

2008 was characterised by political power struggles between the president’s party and the opposition, which brought the parliamentary work to a halt. Resistance in the central government machinery is putting an increasing brake on key reforms, for example in relation to the framework conditions for the private sector.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Benin has general difficulty in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, although it would be possible with an extraordinary effort to achieve the goals regarding water supply and primary school education.

In Benin, 37 per cent of the population live below the poverty line, and poverty is growing. Similarly, both malnutrition and under-nourishment are widespread among the poor. In 2006, primary school education was made free for all children, and 83 per cent of a year-group start school, 45 per cent of which are girls. Benin has signed all international conventions on gender equality and transposed them into the Personal and Family Code of Law, which was passed in 2004. This means, among other things, that women have the same rights of inheritance as men.

The mortality rate for children up to five years of age stands at 12.5 per cent, but the trend is falling. Malaria is extremely widespread and one of the reasons for the high rate of child mortality.

Benin is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the towns and cities that lie close to the sea, such as the economic capital, Cotonou. The country is taking action to secure the coast in order to address the problem.

The development cooperation is important for implementing Benin’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy. It is bilateral donors as well as the World Bank, the UN and the development banks who are responsible for financing virtually all investments in social sectors, infrastructure, agriculture and the justice system.

The Danish assistance to Benin totalled USD 48.2 million in 2008. The development cooperation is concentrated around agriculture, transport, water supply and education. In addition, Denmark supports good governance and promotion of human rights, with special focus on anti-corruption, decentralisation and promotion of children’s and women’s rights.

Bullet blue Future

Benin’s greatest challenge is to generate economic growth, partly in order to create employment and partly to avoid building up a large amount of foreign debt that the country is unable to repay – a situation which Benin experienced in the 1990s. The country is one of the first countries to have implemented the World Bank’s Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Benin has been granted debt relief of approx. USD 520 million. This means that instead of paying off the debt in instalments the state revenues can be used to promote the country’s development.

Difficulty is faced in creating a healthy business climate, and modernisation of the public sector is essential for being able to improve the provision of public services, especially within the education field.


Bhutan Flag

 Area 38,816 km2
 Population 0.7 million
 Annual population growth 1.32 %
 GNI per capita USD 1,770
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 145.1
 Life expectancy 65.3 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 13.8 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Social sectors (health and education)  
 Environment and urban development  
 Good governance  

Bhutan Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 166 70
Children attending primary school (%) 56.4¹ 79.9
Access to safe drinking water (%) 81² 81

1999, 2000

Bullet blue Economy and politics

In 2008, Bhutan made its transition from monarchy to the world’s youngest parliamentary democracy. It took place peacefully and with large popular support, in that almost 80 per cent of the population participated in the election. The leading party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, won 45 seats in the parliament, whilst the People’s Democratic Party only won two seats. Prime Minister Jigme Y. Thinley oversaw the first action taken by the parliament, which was to adopt a new constitution, the Finance Act for the coming year, and the rules governing the parliament’s actions and functions.

The country has experienced an annual economic growth on average of 7 per cent during the last three years. The majority of the population make their living from agriculture, but the service sector contributes most to GNP, namely by as much as 43 per cent. Bhutan produces electricity by hydropower, and the sale of this electricity to India was the largest export product in 2008. Evidence suggests that such export will increase considerably in the coming years. The government’s own revenues account for approx. 50 per cent of public expenditure. Development partners, especially India, finance investments and provide loans in Bhutan.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Bhutan’s tenth five-year plan runs from 2008 to 2013 and has poverty reduction as its over-arching goal. Success has been achieved in reducing the proportion of the population living below the poverty line, from 32 per cent in 2004 to 23 per cent in 2007. The plan very much integrates the Millennium Development Goals, the majority of which Bhutan is well on the way to achieving. In the new constitution, it is made unmistakably clear that all citizens bear responsibility for protecting the environment, and that at least 60 per cent of Bhutan must at any time be covered by forest.

The proportion of underweight children has dropped, from 38 per cent in 1989 to 19 per cent in 2007, and the mortality rate of children under five years of age has fallen dramatically. This is one of the areas that Denmark has supported.

Bhutan views universal education as an important way to eliminate poverty, and Bhutan has already achieved the goal of universal primary education. The proportion of girls and boys in primary school is 97 per cent and in middle school 99 percent, which means that the target relating to gender equality is well on the way to being achieved. In relation to higher education, there is, however, need for greater gender equality.

Danish development assistance to Bhutan has gradually shifted from project support to sector budget support. In 2008, Denmark provided USD 13.8 million in bilateral assistance to Bhutan. Sector budget support has proved to be extremely well suited to Bhutan, where the government pursues a poverty-oriented policy. By also allowing the support to go to local organisations, Denmark has strengthened the country’s own capacity. Denmark also engages in an active effort to promote donor coordination in Bhutan, partly by conducting joint programme reviews.

Bullet blue Future

The perspectives for Bhutan’s development are generally positive. Bhutan’s democracy is young and must pass through a phase of consolidation. However, the transition to democracy looks promising. In the next five years, there will be greater focus on poverty reduction in Bhutan.

The country is dependent on the 40 per cent of its revenues that is provided by foreign donors. However, in step with the growth of the water energy sector and the rise in exports to India, there is an expectation that Bhutan will derive considerable revenues from this export.

Precisely because the development is moving forward in many vital areas, certain of the country’s development partners expect to scale down their assistance.

Denmark plans to phase out development assistance to Bhutan after 2013


Bolivia Flag

 Area 1,099,000 km2
 Population 9.5 million
 Annual population growth 1.7 %
 GNI per capita USD 1,260
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 62.1
 Life expectancy 65.2 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 36.2 million
 * Disbursement  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Good governance and human rights  
 Public sector reforms  

Bolivia Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 125 61
Children attendingprimary school (%) 95.6¹ 96.3
Access to safe drinking water (%) 70² 86

1999, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

In the most recent years, Bolivia has experienced annual economic growth of 5 per cent. Natural gas accounts for almost half of export revenues, whilst mining operations and the processing industry account for most of the other half. Dependence on the world market prices and a weak diversification of the economy means that the prospects for 2009 will depend on developments in the global economy.

However, 2008 was a historic year, which generated large financial reserves that can contribute to withstanding an international crisis and potentially falling prices on raw materials.

Bolivia’s Indian and socialist-oriented government came into office in 2006 for a five-year period. Even though a Constitutional Assembly completed its work on drafting a new constitution in 2007, it was not possible until the end of 2008 and after several democratic crises, and at times violent conflicts, to reach a parliamentary consensus to call a referendum on the constitution in January 2009.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Around two-thirds of the Bolivian population live in poverty, of whom one-third live in extreme poverty, which especially hits the large Indian population and women.

Whilst the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty will be difficult to achieve, the government took steps in 2008 to formulate a plan for the eradication of extreme poverty.

The Danish-funded agricultural sector programme contributes to giving small farmers the opportunity to increase productivity as well as the selling price of traditional crops, such as potatoes, onions and fruit. This is achieved by strengthening the organisation of farmers, using the Danish cooperative movement as a source of inspiration.

The Danish support also contributes to the education sector in terms of developing the school system and improving the quality of teaching, including bilingual and intercultural teaching. As leader of a multi-donor trust fund, Denmark contributes also to assisting the Bolivian Ministry of Education and Culture in developing a plan that can hopefully give the sector a boost, so as to bring the Millennium Development Goal within reach.

Denmark supports development of democracy and good governance, partly through support to the office of the Defender of the People (Ombudsman), an anti-corruption programme and public sector reforms.

Denmark is one of the ten biggest bilateral donors and in 2008 provided USD 36.2 million in bilateral assistance to Bolivia.

Bullet blue Future

Provided the new constitution is adopted, new elections will be held in December 2009. The implementation of the constitution will take several years, and the great challenge facing the government will be to unite the country and ensure political stability. Added to this will be the need for enhanced development efforts that can meet the population’s expectations of better living conditions and standards.

Due to rising export revenues and the renegotiation of gas contracts, Bolivia has become less dependent on development assistance, whose proportion of GNP dropped to around 3 per cent in 2008 from 9 per cent in 2004. The Bolivian government would like to see the donor assistance targeted at eradicating extreme poverty, but is encountering difficulties in translating plans into action due to the lack of public sector capacity


Burkina Faso Flag

 Area 274,000 km2
 Population 14.8 million
 Annual population growth 2.9 %
 GNI per capita USD 430
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 60.4
 Life expectancy 51.9 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 44.4 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Good governance/decentralisation  
 Macro-economic reforms  

Burkina Faso Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 206 204
Children attendingprimary school (%) 24.9¹ 47.8
Access to safe drinking water (%) 34² 72

1991, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

The country’s economic situation has been characterised by stability and growth since the start of the 1990s, when the country launched an extensive reform process. However, 2008 was strongly affected by the food crisis, which during the first few months of the year led to violent protest actions in Burkina Faso.

Fundamental changes in the Burkinian economic structure have not yet taken place. The agricultural sector, which employs 80 per cent of the population and accounts for almost 50 per cent of GNP, continues to be the engine of growth. Rising food and oil prices placed a dampener on growth in 2008, and this growth will continue to depend very much on external factors such as climate change and raw material prices.

Politically, there is great stability with President Blaise Compaoré, who has been in office for 21 years and who is supported by a dominant political party that faces weak opposition. Burkina Faso still has problems with good governance, especially due to the existence of a poorly functioning justice system and considerable corruption.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

The proportion of the population in Burkina Faso living below the poverty line has been falling in recent years and today constitutes around 45 per cent. However, the country is hardly likely to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. There is a need for economic growth that more strongly activates the participation of the poor section of the population, and there is a need for the country to focus on providing better education and health-care provision.

In comparison with earlier, a greater number of children, and especially girls, complete a full programme of primary school education. However, this still applies to only 45 per cent. One of the major challenges is to extend the vocational education and training of the many young people who become unemployed after finishing primary school. Here, Denmark provides support for a practical-oriented education.

HIV/AIDS is a serious problem, and the government is making a concerted effort to combat the disease.

Many women in Burkina Faso lack access to decision-making processes and to resources such as land, and the country needs a more clearly defined gender equality policy.

Climate change has a negative impact on Burkina Faso, especially in relation to agriculture and cattle breeding. Denmark supports, among other things, an initiative aimed at facilitating climate change adaptation through better management of the scarce water resources.

Donor support accounts for 15 per cent of GNP and is an important contribution to the country’s development. The support goes both to the social sectors and, increasingly, to agricultural development. In 2008, Denmark provided USD 44.4 million in bilateral assistance within, for example, the education sector, the agricultural sector and good governance.

In order to improve the effectiveness of Danish development assistance, focus in recent years has been concentrated on fewer activities, and the assistance has been more strongly embedded in Burkinian institutions and organisations.

Bullet blue Future

The greatest political challenge is to be found in ensuring a democratic change of regime, which in other African countries has proved
to be difficult after many years with the same president. The presidential elections in 2010 may prove to be a decisive event affecting the country’s future direction.

The global financial and economic crisis may have serious consequences for the country, and the economic prospects for 2009 do not look promising. The impacts of climate change will create additional great challenges for the country


Egyptian Flag

Area 1,000,000 km2
Population 75.5 million
Annual population growth 1.7 %
GNI per capita USD 1,580
Foreign assistance  
per capita USD 11.8
Life expectancy 71 years
Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 40.8 million
* Disbursements  
Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
Water and sanitation  

Egyptian Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 91 35
Children attendingprimary school (%) 90.6¹ 97.6²
Access to safe drinking water (%) 94³ 98

1991, 2007, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

In 2008, Egypt was not hit so hard by the global financial and economic crisis, and the country experienced economic growth of 7.2 per cent from 2007 to 2008.

The foundation of the economy is tourism, remittances from Egyptians living abroad, and revenues from the Suez Canal. In 2008, several shipping lines sought to avoid piracy near Somalia by diverting their ships away from the canal. This has had a negative impact on Eypgt’s revenues.

At the most recent presidential election in September 2005, President Mubarak was reelected for a new six-year term. Mubarak has been president since the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981.

In April 2008, candidates from the banned opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, encountered problems during the candidacy registration process and in connection with the election campaign, which ultimately contributed to the movement’s decision to boycott the elections.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Egypt’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals are moving swiftly forward at a sustainable level, particularly in relation to the goals aimed at reducing infant mortality and improving access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. However, it looks as though Egypt will be able to achieve the goals also within education and poverty reduction. The efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals are carried out within the framework of Egypt’s Five-Year Plan (2007-2012) designed to promote social and economic development. Five of the goals are expected to be reached, whereas the goal regarding gender equality is unlikely to be achieved, even though significant progress has been made.

In 2008, Denmark provided USD 12.0 million in bilateral assistance to Egypt through sector programme support to the environmental sector. In order to achieve environmental sustainability, the counties’ environment departments are carrying out inspections of enterprises, taking pollution measurements and forwarding data to the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs. One of the most important results of Denmark’s support is decentralised environmental action plans, which the counties draw up for five-year periods.

The organisation, Egyptian Industry, provides consultancy support to enterprises about clean technology, production savings and reducing pollution. There is a demand for consultancy support, and Denmark contributes USD 17.0 million to a fund that provides loans on favourable terms to enterprises wishing to invest in environmental improvements.

By the end of 2008, Egypt will have been phased out as one of Denmark’s programme countries, although the Business-to-Business (B2B) Programme will continue.

Bullet blue Future

A major challenge facing Eqypt is the political reforms that President Mubarak promised to implement during his presidential campaign in 2005. For the population, his promise to lift the state of emergency from 1981 is the issue uppermost in their minds. Another key issue is the question of whether legislative changes will lead to an improvement in the human rights situation.

The global financial and economic crisis may have consequences in the future, and the Egyptian government expects a lower level of growth in 2009. One of the fears is that the revenues from tourism will drop. The country is experiencing large population growth, which requires relatively high economic growth if the country is to avoid the risk of political instability. Each year, the labour force increases by 600,000 people. In addition, there is a risk that several million Egyptian guest workers from especially the Gulf will return to Egypt as a result of the economic crisis. In the field of climate change, Egypt faces major challenges.


Ghana Flag

 Area 238,500 km2
 Population 23.5 million
 Annual population growth 2.0 %
 GNI per capita USD 590
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 51.1
 Life expectancy 59.7 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 85.4 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Water and sanitation  
 Good governance and human rights  
 General budget support  

Ghana Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 120 120
Children attendingprimary school (%) 53.5¹ 71.9²
Access to safe drinking water (%) 56³ 80

1991, 2007, 1990 

Bullet blue Economy and politics

In Ghana, GNP per capita has been rising steadily over the last several years. The growth has been due to, among other things, good prices on raw materials such as gold and cocoa. In 2008, economic growth was 6.6 per cent, but a more moderate rate of growth is expected in 2009 as a result of the global financial and economic crisis. The rate of inflation currently stands at 13-14 per cent and is rising. Ghana’s economy is based on agriculture (including cocoa), gold and timber. Oil deposits, which were discovered in 2007, may in the long term provide Ghana with an important source of revenue.

In 2008, Ghana was also a politically stable and peaceful country. Parliamentary and presidential elections were held in December. After eight years with President Kufour of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the opposition won the election. The leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Professor John Atta Mills, took office as president in January 2009. The country’s two largest parties, NPP and NDC, have almost exactly the same number of seats in the parliament. The elections saw fewer women elected to parliament.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Millennium Development Goal 1, which aims at halving poverty, has been achieved in Ghana, and it is realistic for the country to reach the target of reducing the number of people who suffer from hunger. The same applies to Millennium Development Goal 2, which aims at achieving universal primary education.

In contrast, Ghana is unlikely to achieve several of the other Millennium Development Goals. It is thus doubtful that Ghana will reach the goal relating to infant and child mortality, which, like maternal mortality, is high. On this background, the government decided that from 1 July 2008 the National Health Insurance Scheme would be free for all pregnant women.

In order to promote gender quality, a number of ministries have begun to use gender-segregated budgets. Several Ghanaians within state and civil society received torches as part of the Danish MDG3 initiative in 2008.

The development support accounts for 40 per cent of the state budget. This support funding goes towards agriculture, water and sanitation, transport, health, business, education, decentralisation, democracy and good governance. Several countries, including Denmark, provide general budget support. In 2008, Denmark provided USD 85.4 million in bilateral development assistance to Ghana.

In accordance with the principles laid down in the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action, Denmark collaborates with the other development partners and Ghana’s government to ensure Ghanaian ownership of the development process. This is achieved through harmonising development efforts and using national plans and procedures. In 2008, Denmark, together with the UK and the Netherlands, switched over to using sector budget support as a modality for supporting the health sector.

Bullet blue Future

It is too early to determine what will be the consequences of the inauguration of the newly elected President Mills. However, it is likely that Ghana will continue its efforts to become a middle-income country by 2015. It will be themes such as employment, emphasis on education and health, as well as a more equitable distribution of Ghana’s resources that the new government will most likely choose to prioritise. The global financial and economic crisis, food prices, the global market price on Ghana’s export items and the newly discovered oil deposits can individually affect the new government’s opportunities to act.


Kenya Flag

 Area 580,400 km2
 Population 37.5 million
 Annual population growth 2.6 %
 GNI per capita USD 680
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 25.8
 Life expectancy 53.4 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 54.4 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Water and sanitation  
 Good governance and human rights  

Kenya Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 97 121
Children attendingprimary school (%) 64¹ 76.2
Access to safe drinking water (%) 41² 57

1999, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

At the beginning of 2008, Kenya was facing its most serious crisis since the attempted coup d’état in 1982. The background was the election on 27 December 2007, which was characterised by fraud, resulting in a political crisis and widespread violence. Through international mediation, led by Kofi Annan, it proved possible to form a coalition government in February 2008. Opposition leader Raila Odinga was appointed prime minister and partner to President Mwai Kibaka, who had held power since 2002.

The challenges facing the government are substantial. Among other things, there will be need for a new constitution and for political action to address the underlying conflicts in Kenyan society. These relate to, for example, land issues, great social inequality, corruption, internally displaced people and high unemployment, especially among young people.

An otherwise positive economic development saw a steep decline in 2008, when the national conflict, combined with the global economic crisis, had a highly adverse impact on the country’s economy. In 2008, economic growth fell to 3.2 per cent compared to 7 per cent in 2007. There is nothing to indicate that the situation will improve very much in 2009, where a cautious estimate is a growth of 3.5 per cent. inflation rose to 26 per cent compared to 9.5 per cent in 2007.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Since 2002, Kenya has experienced relatively positive development, in which the proportion of poor people fell from 56 per cent in 2003 to 46 per cent in 2005/06. Nevertheless, Kenya is very unlikely to be able to reach all the Millennium Development Goals. However, there are hopes of reaching the goals regarding universal primary education, equal access to education for both genders, and HIV/AIDS prevention and reduction.

Even though the other goals are far from being achieved, progress has been observed.

Both child mortality and maternal mortality have been reduced considerably.

In 2008, Denmark provided USD 54.4 million in bilateral assistance to Kenya. Positive progress is being achieved in regard to donor harmonisation and in the dialogue with national partners in Kenya. Denmark plays an important role in this work. The Kenya Joint Assistance Strategy provides a strong foundation for the division of labour between donors, including the donors’ sector concentration, and an increasing degree of financial cooperation between donors. The use of national systems, however, is still hampered by the lack of capacity in the Kenyan public sector systems.

In the health sector, Denmark, together with donors such as the Clinton Foundation, plays an important role in the efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.

Bullet blue Future

The hopes for development in Kenya were dealt a serious blow during the election crisis. If the political problems are not resolved, the violence may return. There is a need for a dynamic and capable government which, in cooperation with the private sector and an engaged civil society, can build a new basis for Kenya’s future.

In accordance with the Joint Assistance Strategy for the donors operating in Kenya, Danish development assistance in the future will be concentrated around three sectors: health, the private sector, and natural resource management, whilst retaining cross-cutting support for promoting good governance.

Denmark does not expect to increase its level of development assistance significantly in the immediate years to come, but there is consensus among the donors that it is important to remain constructive partners at a time when Kenya faces major challenges


Mali Flag

 Area 1,200,000 km2
 Population 12.3 million
 Annual population growth 3.0 %
 GNI per capita USD 500
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 69
 Life expectancy 53.8 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 12.5 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Natural resources, water and sanitation  

Mali Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 250 217
Children attendingprimary school (%) 29.2¹ 60.5
Access to safe drinking water (%) 33² 60

1991, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

In 2008, Mali was strongly affected by the rising world market prices on food products and oil. Nevertheless, real economic growth is expected to be around 5 per cent for 2008, due to the stability, despite everything, of world market prices on gold, which provides 70 per cent of the country’s export revenues. Mali also increased food production in 2008 by 20 per cent.

Mali is a stable democracy undergoing constant development. In 2008, President Amadou Toumani Touré’s government continued to implement important reform programmes in an effort to promote the country’s development. However, in 2008, the government also faced the challenge of dealing with repeated attacks by Touare groups on military camps in northern Mali. The Touare groups have, among other things, been involved in illegal border traffic.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Mali is one of the world’s poorest countries and is among the bottom ten in the UNDP Human Development Index (2008). However, the proportion of poor people has been falling in recent years – from 55 per cent to 47 per cent in the period 2001-2006. It is likely that Mali will be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goal on ensuring improved access to safe drinking water. On the other hand, it is more doubtful whether the country will be able to achieve the goals regarding education and health.

The lack of employment opportunities available to Mali’s large number of young people is both economically and politically one of the greatest challenges facing the country. Close to 50 per cent of the country’s population are of working age, of whom only one-third of women and two-thirds of men are in employment. Mali women have poorer access to resources and formal decision-making processes than men.

Climate change adaptation is a key factor for socio-economic development. Approx. two-thirds of Mali’s geographical area is covered by desert, and it rains only 3-4 months a year, which means that access to safe drinking water has high priority. Agriculture needs to be modernised in order to improve the efficiency of production and to raise the living standards of all those engaged in the agricultural sector.

Donor support accounts for around 30 per cent of the government’s annual budget. In 2008, the government and the donors operating in Mali engaged in collaborative efforts to strengthen aid effectiveness. The efforts focused on promoting division of labour between donors and shifting the emphasis from project to programme assistance.

The Danish assistance to Mali is designed to support Mali’s National Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction by contributing to sustainable and socially balanced growth as well as raising the living standards of the poor section of the population, particularly in rural areas, and women. In 2008, Denmark provided USD 12.5 million in bilateral assistance to Mali, which was administered within the framework of Mali’s national strategy.

Denmark supports the work on developing formal vocational education and training programmes tailored to the needs of enterprises. The efforts are particularly targeted at women and young people, and are designed, among other things, to contribute to creating alternatives to migration. In 2008, Denmark also supported efforts to enable women to stand as candidates in the local elections in spring 2009.

Bullet blue Future

The economic growth in Mali is primarily attributable to the stable world market prices on gold and an increase in national food production. Provided there are no unexpected changes or surprises from external quarters, real economic growth is expected to be around 5-6 per cent in the coming years.

A solution to the security situation in northern Mali will be one of the key political challenges in 2009. There will be a need to secure peace and calm, so as to enable the important development efforts in the northern regions to move forward. It is as yet unknown how serious the consequences of the international economic and financial crisis will be in Mali. However, one must be prepared for the possibility of a reduction in donor assistance and in the remittances that Mali migrants regularly send home to their families and villages


Mozambique Flag

 Area 801,600 km2
 Population 21.4 million
 Annual population growth 1.9 %
 GNI per capita USD 320
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 76.8
 Life expectancy 42.5 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 87.3 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Good governance and democracy  
 Macro-economic reforms  

Mozambique Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 235 138
Children attendingprimary school (%) 41.5¹ 76
Access to safe drinking water (%) 39² 42

1991, 1995

Bullet blue Economy and politics

In 2008, Mozambique maintained stable economic growth, but the global price increases on oil and food products have led the country to reduce the expectations to growth by 0.5 per cent for 2009. Almost 75 per cent of Mozambique’s revenue stems from agriculture and fisheries, trade and service, energy and mineral processing.

The government has a national strategy for eradicating poverty. The goal is to reduce the proportion of poor people to 45 per cent in 2009. In 2003, the figure was 54 per cent. This means that around two million people must be lifted out of poverty for the government to achieve its goal.

Mozambique is a multiparty democracy. The FRELIMO party has held government power since 1975 and won 42 out of 43 mayor posts at the local government elections held in 2008. The election went smoothly, in the same way as previous elections. There is still a long way to go before Mozambique can be regarded as a fully-fledged society governed by the rule of law and a modern democracy, even though the country has won great recognition for the progress it has made so far.

The public sector administration is hampered by inadequate capacity in relation to management and planning. The government has demonstrated a willingness to respect the basic rights of freedom that were guaranteed by the constitution in 1990. Human rights, however, are regularly violated, which is evidenced, for example, by cases of long and unjust imprisonment and overcrowded prisons.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries. However, considerable progress has been achieved in a number of areas. For example, the proportion of girls under six years of age who attend school has reached 73 per cent, and the proportion of girls completing primary school education has reached 39 per cent. This is an explosive increase, which has made it difficult to maintain and improve the quality of the teaching.

There is increased awareness of the contribution made by women to economic growth, and a number of political initiatives have been taken to secure women’s interests and rights, such as the passing of a law to help victims of domestic violence.

Mozambique was given status as a Danish programme country in 1994. Development assistance is primarily provided through budget support and the reforms associated with such support. In addition, Denmark contributes significantly to the implementation of key reforms of the justice sector and the public sector. The prosecution of, for example, corruption cases by the courts has been improved, and the population have found it easier to access legal aid.

Bullet blue Future

A new national household survey in 2009 will show whether the target of reducing the number of poor people from 54 per cent in 2003 to 45 per cent in 2009 has been achieved.

Elections to parliament, presidential office and provincial assemblies are due to be held in 2009. FRELIMO is expected to win. The largest opposition party, RENAMO, is disorganised and lacks credibility as a political alternative. There is a new party possibly in the making which in the long term could challenge FRELIMO’s dominance.


Nepal Flag

 Area 147,200 km2
 Population 28.1 million
 Annual population growth 1.7 %
 GNI per capita USD 340
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 18.6
 Life expectancy 63.2 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 46.3 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Good governance and human rights  
 Peace process and conflict prevention  

Nepal Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 142 59
Children attendingprimary school (%) 67¹ 80.1²
Access to safe drinking water (%) 72³ 89

1999, 2004, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

Nepal is one of the world’s poorest countries and has been troubled by several years of violent conflict. It is estimated that over 30 per cent of the country’s population live below the poverty line. Around 80 per cent of Nepal’s population are dependent on the agricultural sector, which with 33 per cent of GNI is the country’s largest sector. Besides agriculture, the largest sources of revenue for Nepal are tourism and remittances from Nepalese people working abroad. However, the economy is stagnating and investments are lacking. The country is suffering from factory closures, frequent blockades of the road network and inadequate electricity supply.

In 2008, Nepal experienced a number of important political events. In April, the country held relatively free and fair elections. In May, the king was dethroned and the country was transformed into a republic. In July, the new president was elected, and a coalition government was established in August. These are all important steps in the peace process between the government and the Maoist rebels; a process that was initiated in 2006, when the government and the Maoists signed a peace agreement that formally brought an end to the violent conflict.

The country’s new parliament is far more representative than previous parliaments. There are great expectations to the new government, whose task will be to implement the peace process and ensure that a new constitution is drafted.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Nepal has made progress in its efforts to achieve several of the Millennium Development Goals in recent years, and a number of them are within reach. The country expects to reach the goal of halving poverty by 2015. It is expected also that child mortality will be reduced by two-thirds, thanks to vitamins, vaccinations and pneumonia treatment.

Nepal has moved closer to the goal of achieving universal primary education, and Denmark makes a great effort in this sector. More children are attending primary school, but there are still problems with the quality of teaching and learning materials, and it is difficult to keep the children in the primary school system.

Certain progress has been made with regard to promoting gender equality. Almost the same number of boys and girls become enrolled in the school system. However, there is a long way to go before Nepal achieves gender equality. Women’s control over resources and their participation in political decision-making is still extremely low.

The goal that is furthest away from being achieved is the goal of reducing hunger. Nepal still finds itself among the five countries in the world where the majority of children suffer from chronic hunger. The country also lags behind in relation to achieving the goals regarding maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS and environmental sustainability.

Following the peace agreement, there has been a considerable drop in the number of human rights violations. However, violations continue to be committed by the police, and politically motivated violence and intimidation is a widespread phenomenon in rural districts.

Nepal is extremely dependent on international development assistance, which accounts for approx. 20 per cent of the national budget. Denmark, along with the UK, Japan, the USA and Germany, are the biggest bilateral donors in Nepal.

In 2008, Denmark provided USD 46.3 million in bilateral assistance to Nepal. The Danish support has for many years gone to the education and energy sectors, to human rights, democracy and good governance, and, in 2007 and 2008, to the peace process.

Bullet blue Future

Nepal’s most important challenge is to implement the peace process. A number of steps are required. The former Maoist rebel soldiers must be integrated into society, and the new constitution must be put in place. In addition, Nepal needs to implement a number of reforms and improvements of, for example, public sector service, law and order, as well as protection of human rights


Nicaragua Flag

 Area 130,000 km2
 Population 5.6 million
 Annual population growth 1.3 %
 GNI per capita USD 980
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 132.43
 Life expectancy 72.9 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 38.0 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Democracy, human rights and good governance  

Nicaragua Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 68 36
Children attendingprimary school (%) 69¹ 91.4
Access to safe drinking water (%) 70² 79

1991, 2006, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Economic growth was 3.2 per cent in 2008 and is due primarily to the export of traditional agricultural products such as coffee, meat and sugar. Growth has fallen from 3.7 per cent in 2006. Nicaragua is one of the countries in the world that has the greatest inequality in relation to income distribution.

The Sandinist government led by Daniel Ortega has put democracy under increasing pressure in Nicaragua. The democratic space has been squeezed by the intimidation of NGOs and media people and an increased politicisation of important state institutions. As part of this negative political development, two small political parties were excluded from participating in the local elections in November 2008. Allegations of widespread election fraud at the local elections have led to increased political polarisation.

There is increasing concern over developments in Nicaragua, which is reinforced by escalating problems with drug smuggling and other forms of organised crime.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

The level of poverty has remained fairly constant since 2001. Around 46 per cent of the population continue to live below the poverty line, and Nicaragua will have difficulty in reaching the Millennium Development Goals. The government has focused on education, and positive results have been achieved in this area. Enrolment in primary school has risen, and the drop-out rate has fallen.

Child mortality fell steadily from 2001 to 2007, and it is not unlikely that this Millennium Development Goal will be achieved. Maternal mortality fell from 121 deaths per 100,000 in 2006 to 94 deaths per 100,000 in 2008. There still remains a long way to go to achieve a reduction of three-quarters (corresponding to 30 deaths per 100,000) by 2015.

The international donor cooperation remains important to economic stability and poverty reduction. One-third of Nicaragua’s public budget is financed by donor assistance. Denmark is one of the largest bilateral donors in Nicaragua, with an annual contribution of USD 38.0 million. Denmark supports both the public sector and the private sector as well as civil society with the aim of developing and strengthening democracy. The Danish assistance is adapted and restructured to meet the worrying political developments in the country and to support processes that can expand the democratic space whilst continuing to combat poverty.

In the environmental field, Denmark has contributed with considerable resources to, for example, pollution control and biodiversity preservation. However, ensuring that the government sets aside the necessary resources remains a challenge.

Nicaragua has played an active role in the efforts to strengthen harmonisation and coordination of development assistance. However, the current political crisis means that the donors must check more closely that the assistance is not misused for party political purposes. The majority of donors that have provided budget support have demanded democratic improvements before they resume this form of assistance.

Bullet blue Future

Nicaragua expects the global economic downturn to impact on the country’s traditional export products, such as coffee, meat and sugar, and that growth will be lower in 2009. The economic, political, democratic and institutional crisis means that Nicaragua is facing an uncertain future. The result is likely to be higher unemployment and increased migration.


Tanzania Flag

 Area 945,100 km2
 Population 40.4 million
 Annual population growth 2.4 %
 GNI per capita USD 400
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 45.3
 Life expectancy 51.9 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 119.2 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Good governance and human rights  
 Budget support and institutional reforms  

Tanzania Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 161 118
Children attendingprimary school (%) 51.7¹ 98
Access to safe drinking water (%) 49² 55

1991, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

Since 2000, Tanzania’s average economic growth has been 7 per cent annually. In the same period, inflation has been among the lowest in southern Africa. The high economic growth, however, has not been translated into a significant reduction in poverty in the rural districts. Greater poverty reduction requires higher economic growth in the agricultural sector, which employs more than two-thirds of the labour force.

Since 2005, Tanzania has experienced a significant increase in political freedom, including the parliament’s, the opposition’s, the media’s and civil society’s influence on the political agenda. The country is in the process of implementing a number of ambitious reform programmes, which are designed to promote more efficient public management, for example with an emphasis on decentralisation and better management of the public finances. 2008 was characterised by internal power struggles inside the government party and exposure of several major corruption scandals.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Tanzania has made considerable progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals within the social sectors, but there remain, however, major challenges in respect to raising the quality of healthcare services and education provision. The proportion of children attending primary school rose from 66 per cent in 2001 to 97 per cent in 2007. Women’s status and gender equality have also experienced an improvement, and child mortality has fallen substantially. The proportion of HIV-infected people has stabilised in recent years.

The proportion of the population that lives below the poverty line fell only from 39 per cent in 1992 to 33 per cent in 2007. Tanzania is only likely to achieve Millennium Development Goal 1 of halving poverty in the acting capital, Dar Es Salaam. In the rural districts, the poverty reduction goal will not be achieved unless significant productivity improvements in the agricultural sector, increased investments in the private sector and increased access to energy take place very rapidly. The limited progress is partly due to low agricultural sector growth of approx. 4 per cent annually, and the fact that only 10 per cent of the population have access to electricity.

The total international development assistance to Tanzania accounts for approx. 35 per cent of government revenues. The assistance is necessary for implementing the government’s poverty reduction strategy, in that Tanzania’s national budget only constitutes approx USD 5.4 billion per year. The donor support is widely distributed across the entire spectrum of the Millennium Development Goals. The majority of the international assistance is provided in accordance with a joint strategy that the Tanzanian government and the country’s 45 multilateral and bilateral donors have formulated in partnership.

The total Danish bilateral assistance to Tanzania amounted to USD 119.2 million in 2008 and was distributed between budget support, sector programmes within, for example, health and roads, as well as cross-cutting reforms. This is supplemented by business-to-business (B2B) cooperation, mixed credits, support to refugees and regions of origin, research, and assistance channelled through private Danish development organisations.

Bullet blue Future

Everything indicates that the political stability and the sound economic policies will continue. This may attract more investments and stimulate economic growth in Tanzania. However, this growth will, also in the short term, be affected by the international economic crisis. The challenge will be to ensure that the entire population benefits from the economic growth.

Therefore, Tanzania needs to increase the pace of reform and improve the framework conditions for the private sector. There is also a need to improve the infrastructure, strengthen the efficiency of agriculture, and promote export and private investments. In the public sector, focus should concentrate on raising quality in the health and education sectors and eliminating corruption.


Uganda Flag

 Area 241,000 km2
 Population 30.9 million
 Annual population growth 3.4 %
 GNI per capita USD 340
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 51.9
 Life expectancy 50.7 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 83.2 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Water and sanitation  
 Good governance  
 Public sector reforms  

Uganda Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 160 134
Children attendingprimary school (%) N/A N/A
Access to safe drinking water (%) 43¹ 64


Bullet blue Economy and politics

With a GNI per capita of USD 300, Uganda is one of the world’s poorest countries. Particularly northern Uganda is affected by immense poverty, primarily as a result of the previous armed conflict between Uganda’s government army and the rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Agriculture is the dominant economic activity in Uganda. It accounts for more than 30 per cent of GNP and employs approx. 80 per cent of the working population. Increased exports of coffee, gold, fish and fish products have contributed to maintaining stable economic growth of approx. 7.5 per cent over the last five years. A population growth of 3.4 per cent, however, has contributed to reducing the real economic growth per capita to approx. 2 per cent annually.

Uganda is a republic, in which the president is both head of state and head of government. The parliamentary and presidential elections in 2006 reintroduced the multiparty system in Uganda after an interval of 25 years. The next elections are due to be held in 2011. The assessment is that the current president, Museveni, stands a good chance of winning.

The peace process for northern Uganda has led to peace, even though the LRA leader has not signed the peace agreement. In December 2008, a regional alliance of military forces from Uganda, Congo and South Sudan launched an attack on the LRA’s camps in Congo’s jungle. The military action continued into 2009.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Absolute poverty was reduced from 56 per cent in 1992 to 31 per cent in 2006. However, in northern Uganda approx. 70 per cent of the population continue to live in absolute poverty. Since 1991, infant mortality has fallen from 12 per cent to 7.6 per cent, whilst maternal mortality remains high. Despite a reduction in the number of people infected with

HIV, HIV/AIDS continued to be a serious problem. The Danish-supported HIV/AIDS efforts in Uganda focus particularly on the vulnerability of women and girls and on the link between HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and insufficient gender equality.

Human rights is an item high on the political agenda, and considerable progress is being made in this area. Denmark provides support, among other things, to the Uganda Human Rights Commission and to the Ugandan justice system.

Dependence on donor support remains heavy, but is falling. The majority of the donors contribute to the country’s development through support for Uganda’s own poverty reduction strategy, including partially through general budget support or sector budget support. Denmark channels its development assistance as far as possible through sector budget support. In addition, Denmark also provides support for, among other things, the government’s plan for developing northern Uganda, partly through support to the water, health and agricultural sectors.

Bullet blue Future

The global economic crisis will also be felt in Uganda. This means, among other things, that the expectation of a particularly high growth of almost 9 per cent has been reduced to 6.5-7 percent. Growth rates of 5-6 per cent are not sufficient to enable Uganda to achieve its goal of reducing poverty to 10 per cent by 2017.

The maintenance of peace and stability in northern Uganda is crucial for improving the poor living conditions of people in this part of the country. Positive development trends can to a certain extent be halted by political developments in the period leading up to the next parliamentary and presidential elections in 2011. There is a risk that we will see a period with escalating political harassment and violence


Vietnam Flag

 Area 329,300 km2
 Population 85.1 million
 Annual population growth 1.2 %
 GNI per capita USD 790
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 22
 Life expectancy 70.9 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 80.5 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Water and sanitation  
 Good governance and administrative reforms  
 General Budget support  

Vietnam Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 53 17
Children attendingprimary school (%) 90.5¹ 94.7²
Access to safe drinking water (%) 52³ 92

1991, 2000, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

The majority of Vietnam’s population are employed in the agricultural sector, but the importance of industry and the service sector is increasingly rapidly in step with Vietnam approaching middle-income country status.

However, 2008 was a difficult year for the Vietnamese economy. An overheating economy during the first six months of the year accompanied by rapidly increasing inflation was substituted by the effects of the global crisis towards the end of the year. Nevertheless, an economic growth rate of 6.3 per cent was achieved.

Even though the government implemented a series of initiatives to stimulate the economy in 2008, lower growth is nevertheless expected in 2009, as both export, foreign investments and remittances from Vietnamese people living abroad will be adversely affected by the international crisis.

Vietnam has a one-party system, and the ruling party has firm control of power in the country. officially, it is the National Assembly that determines the overall direction of both domestic and foreign policy, and during the last few years this assembly has increasingly sought to strengthen its position. The growing self-awareness of the delegates and the desire for greater influence is evident. However, the National Assembly continues to be subject to the Communist Party’s directives, and the majority of the elected representatives are party members.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

In 2008, poverty was reduced by 1.3 per cent, and the proportion of the population that lives below the poverty line is now less than 14 per cent compared to 58 per cent in 1993.

Vietnam expects to achieve the majority of the Millennium Development Goals. There are great expectations to primary school education, in which 97 per cent of school-age children are now enrolled. Maternal mortality has dropped to 75 per 100,000 women. However, achieving the goals for HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation, as well as environmental sustainability will present a challenge. HIV/AIDS is integrated as a priority consideration in all major Danish-supported programmes.

Donor assistance accounts for 33 per cent of public investments. Even though the assistance represents a limited part of Vietnam’s economy, it is nonetheless of significant importance for both the expansion of the physical infrastructure and for testing new and innovation projects and programmes within, for example, HIV/AIDS prevention and reduction and poverty reduction among ethnic minorities. For the ethnic minorities, which constitute 13 per cent of the population, the poverty rate is almost 50 per cent, and thus significantly above the 14 per cent for the population in general. Therefore, the Danish support to agriculture, water and sanitation, and public reforms is concentrated around provinces dominated by ethnic minorities.

The impressive economic growth in Vietnam over the past many years has been achieved at the expense of the environment, and even though a number of donors, including Denmark, are active in the area, the task is enormous. The challenge of climate change will also be difficult to tackle for Vietnam, which is regarded as being one of the five most vulnerable countries in the world. As the first donor to do so, Denmark provides assistance to a new national programme for climate change adaptation.

Respect for human rights, good governance and anti-corruption continues to lag behind. Denmark supports the development of a more independent court system, the establishment of human rights centres at universities, public sector reforms and the government’s anti-corruption efforts.

Bullet blue Future

Vietnam expects to achieve status as a middle-income country within the next couple of years. Continued poverty reduction, especially among ethnic minorities, is an important priority. The country must also ensure the development of infrastructure and human resources that are necessary for maintaining competitiveness. Similarly, greater transparency and simplification of regulations in the public sector and anti-corruption are important elements.

Several donors, including Denmark, are gradually phasing out their traditional development assistance to Vietnam. On the other hand, new donors, such as China and South Korea, are strengthening their presence.


Zambia Flag

 Area 752,600 km2
 Population 11.9 million
 Annual population growth 1.9 %
 GNI per capita USD 800
 Foreign assistance  
 per capita USD 121.8
 Life expectancy 41.7 years
 Danish bilateral assistance 2008* USD 35.1 million
 * Disbursements  
 Danish bilateral assistance programmes  
 Water and sanitation  
 Good governance and human rights  

Zambia Map

Poverty indicators

  1990 2006
Child mortality (under 5 years/1,000) 180 182
Children attendingprimary school (%) 68.2¹ 93.5
Access to safe drinking water (%) 50² 58

1999, 1990

Bullet blue Economy and politics

In 2008, Zambia experienced economic growth of 5.5 per cent. However, the growth is unevenly distributed, and there is widespread poverty, especially outside urban areas. The population growth is almost 3 per cent, which means that the economic growth does not manifest itself in significant poverty reduction. The economy continues to be one-dimensional with copper production at the centre, which accounts for over 60 per cent of exports.

Agricultural production is rising and the potential is huge. However, inadequate infrastructure and market access place constraints on agricultural sector development. At the beginning of 2008, copper prices were high, which led Zambia to introduce a surplus tax that was designed to bring the country around USD 415 million in revenue in 2008. The financial and economic crisis, however, put an end to this plan, as copper prices halved within a few months.

In August 2008, President Levy Mwanawasa died. After a peaceful and relatively well-implemented election process, the former vice-president, Rupiah Banda, was elected president. With the new government in place, there is the prospect of continuity until the ordinary elections in 2011. Under Banda, efforts continue to revise the constitution, which is expected to be finalised in 2010.

Bullet blue Development cooperation

Poverty has not been reduced significantly within the last few years, and the country’s development does not provide hope that Zambia will achieve the Millennium Development Goals. HIV/AIDS is widespread. The official figure of 16 per cent of the adult population hides major differences between urban and rural areas, and there is great uncertainty as to the accuracy of the figure.

In the education field, Zambia is making progress, partly with the help of Danish funds, and the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education is within reach. The country’s efforts are hampered by the fact that the national budget has been reduced in size, partly as a result of the falling copper prices.

The Danish bilateral assistance to Zambia was USD 35.1 million in 2008. The assistance focuses on the private sector, job creation and capacity building. In particular, maintenance and development of the road network is a fundamental prerequisite for both poverty reduction and private sector development as well as diversification of the economy. Denmark has formulated a joint strategy with other donors.

Bullet blue Future

The deterioration of the situation under Robert Mugabe’s rule in the neighbouring country Zimbabwe constitutes a threat to Zambia and the entire region. Increased criminality, the incidance of HIV/AIDS and the unchecked cholera epidemic are spreading from Zimbabwe towards the neighbouring countries and putting a strain on Zambia’s resources.

Zambia has good relations with its other neighbouring countries, but the crisis in the Congo raises the risk of new refugee flows to Zambia.

Zambia receives considerable international development assistance, and with the loss of surplus tax from mining activities, the country is forced to remain heavily dependent on donors. The expectations to economic growth have been toned down to 3.5 per cent for 2009, and such a low level of growth will not enable poverty to be reduced.

Photo: Klaus Holsting / Danida

Photo: Klaus Holsting / Danida



USD million 2007 2008
Bilateral assistance under Appropriations Act Account sections 06.3 and 06.11.19
Programme and project assistance Africa
481.8 476.3
Programme and project assistance Asia
173.9 196.3
Programme and project assistance Latin America
71.5 74.3
Personnel assistance 1
45.3 71.4
Business-to-Business programme
39.1 35.4
Mixed Credits
64.3 67.5
Loan assistance, debt relief
123.3 87.2
Regional and region-of-origin assistance 2
49.6 26.0
Human rights and democratisation
48.2 53.3
Transitional assistance to the Western Balkans
-0.1 0.0
Assistance through NGOs
171.3 185.9
Special environmental assistance to developing countries
86.4 68.8
Research activity etc.
33.9 36.1
Information activity
4.0 5.4
Extraordinary humanitarian contributions & International Humanitarian Service (IHB) 148.4 180.6
Neighbourhood Programme (Section 06.11.19)
25.8 27.8
-1.4 -1.3
Total bilateral assistance Appropriations Act Account Sections 06.3 and 06.11.19 1,547.5 1,608.5

Multilateral assistance under Sections 06.3 and 06.11.19
International development research
6.3 7.4
UN Development Programme
80.8 76.4
UN Children’s Fund
38.4 40.3
HIV/AIDS, population and health programmes
102.8 120.2
UN Agricultual and Food programmes
32.9 34.8
Global environment programmes
46.2 49.8
Other UN assistance programmes
50.9 57.4
World Bank Group (WB)
79.8 145,0
Regional development banks
12.6 11.3
Regional and other development funds
90.0 58.3
Assistance through the European Development Fund
83.6 94.4
Multilateral regional and transitional assistance
17.4 21.7
Stability and security oriented activities
10.4 5.1
Miscellaneous multilateral contributions
26.7 5.5
Multilateral humanitarian assistance
58.8 63.9
-3.9 -4.7
Total multilateral assistance Appropriations Act Account section 06.3 and 06.11.19
733.7 786,6
Total government assistance under Appropriations Act Account sections 06.3 and § 06.11.19 2,281.2 2,395.2
Government assistance not granted under Appropriations Act Account Sections 06.3 and 06.11.19    
Administration of development assistance etc.
127.3 138.3
DCISM (Development research, Section 06.11.13)
4.1 4.0
Repayment of state loans
-15.9 -15.5
International operations of defence forces and police force
9.1 9.9
Expenses for reception of refugees
45.1 48.6
IFU/IØ/IFV share contribution
-55.6 20.6
Portion of Danish pools and lottery funds
2.4 2.5
Discount on debt buy-back in debt relief to Nigeria
0.0 8.9
Bilateral assistance not granted under Sections 06.3 and 06.11.19 116.5 217.3
Community financed EU assistance
156.9 179.6
Contributions to international organisations
7.7 8.0
Multilateral assistance not granted under Sections 06.3 and 06.11.19 164.6 187.6
Total Danish assistance reported to OECD/DAC 2,562.2 2.800.1
317,271.2 342,575.9
Assistance percentage
0.81 0.82
Total bilateral assistance reported to OECD/DAC 1,663.9 1,825.9
Total multilateral assistance reported to OECD/DAC 898.3 974.2

1 With effect from 2008, Section (JPOs) is incorporated as bilateral assistance.
The 2007 report has been amended correspondingly and cannot be directly compared with previous reports.
2 With effect from 2008, Section (Assistance to the Middle East) is incorporated as bilateral assistance. The 2007 report has been amended correspondingly and cannot be directly compared with previous reports.
3 Statistics Denmark, preliminary GNI figure 2008 (1 March 2009)


Click to see the table: DENMARK’S BILATERAL ASSISTANCE, 2008


Click to see the table: 'DENMARK’S BILATERAL ASSISTANCE TO AFRICA, 2008'

*Countries and regions in Africa that are not programme countries.

  1. Falls under Appropriations Act Account 06.32. Comprises programme and project assistance to Africa, Asia and Latin
    America, personnel assistance, the B2B Programme, Mixed Credits, assistance to regional and regions of origin as well as transitional assistance to the Western Balkans. With effect from 2008, JPOs in multilateral organisations (Section and assistance to the Middle East through the IBRD (Section are reported as bilateral assistance. Incorporated in this column.
  2. Falls under Appropriations Act Account 06.33. Comprises assistance channelled through NGOs.
  3. Falls under Appropriations Act Account 06.35.01. Comprises research, projects in Denmark, grants for information activities, cultural cooperation, fact-finding activities as well as seminars, courses and conferences.
  4. Falls under Appropriations Act Account 06.34. Comprises the special environmental assistance (which up to and including
    2003 fell under Appropriations Act Account 06.¹¹.¹6).
  5. Falls under Appropriations Act Account 06.39.02. Comprises extraordinary humanitarian assistance, IHB and region-of-origin activities. The account was formerly reported as multilateral assistance, but from and including the financial year 2005 is reported as bilateral assistance.
  6. The Neighbourhood Programme Section 06.11.19. Only the disbursements that can be included as ODA in accordance with the DAC directive.
  7. Excluding debt relief.
  8. Comprises inter-regional projects that are not country-specific.


Click to see the table: 'DENMARK’S BILATERAL ASSISTANCE TO ASIA, 2008'
*Countries and regions in Asia that are not programme countries.


*Countries and regions in Asia that are not programme countries.


Click to see the table: 'DENMARK’S BILATERAL ASSISTANCE TO EUROPE, 2008'
Explanatory notes, see page 8


USD million
USD million
SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE 687.45 676.81 44.4 42.1
Education, total 117.45 106.62 7.6 6.6
Education, general 52.65 48.39 3.4 3.0
Primary education 44.50 34.77 2.9 2.2
Secondary education 17.00 20.33 1.1 1.3
University and other tertiary education 3.29 3.13 0.2 0.2
Health, total 82.47 78.70 5.3 4.9
Health, general 44.35 42.26 2.9 2.6
Primary health 38.12 36.45 2.5 2.3
Reproductive health and population programmes 30.72 29.06 2.0 1.8
Drinking water and sanitation 120.39 113.41 7.8 7.1
Public administration and civil society 285.57 276.17 18.5 17.2
Conflict prevention and resolution, peace and security 24.85 27.67 1.6 1.7
Other social infrastructure 25.99 45.17 1.7 2.8
Employment 7.28 9.62 0.5 0.6
Other social infrastructure 18.71 35.56 1.2 2.2
ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE 207.84 216.26 13.4 13.4
Transport, total 99.38 125.05 6.4 7.8
Road construction, road transport etc. 90.34 107.06 5.8 6.7
Railways 0.00 0.00 0.0 0.0
Sea and air transport 9.04 18.00 0.6 1.1
Communication 6.29 3.02 0.4 0.2
Energy, total 69.49 43.74 4.5 2.7
Electrification 22.13 17.80 1.4 1.1
New and renewable energy sources 46.80 25.54 3.0 1.6
Other assistance to the energy sector 0.56 0.40 0.0 0.0
Banks and financial services 2.51 0.59 0.2 0.0
Other economic infrastructure 30.16 43.86 1.9 2.7
PRODUCTIVE SECTORS 156.74 162.18 10.1 10.1
Agriculture 97.91 99.32 6.3 6.2
Forestry 5.18 5.11 0.3 0.3
Fisheries 12.05 15.91 0.8 1.0
Industry 38.87 36.19 2.5 2.3
Mineral resources 0.95 2.15 0.1 0.1
Building and construction 0.17 0.0 0.0 0.0
Trade 1.59 3.17 0.1 0.2
Tourism -0.00 0.34 -0.0 0.0
Environment 81.36 104.29 5.3 6.5
Other integrated development projects 24.08 31.44 1.6 2.0
PROGRAMME AND FOOD AID 76.04 65.30 4.9 4.1
DEBT RELIEF 123.29 87.17 8.0 5.4
Other non-categorised bilateral assistance 50.65 95.56 3.3 5.9
Total bilateral assistance 1,547.48 1,608.53 100.0 100.0

* Calculated according to disbursements. Comprises bilateral disbursements under Sections 06.3 and 06.11.19. Distributed on the basis of the primary objects code. With effect from 2008, JPOs in multilateral organisations (Section and assistance in the Middle East through the IBRD (Section are reported as bilateral assistance. The 2007 figures have been adjusted accordingly and cannot be directly compared with previous years.


Organisation 2007
USD million
USD million
International Development Association (IDA) 94.7 134.2
European Development Fund (EDF) 83.5 94.8
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 86.8 74.2
World Bank (WB) 36.1 46.8
United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) 33.1 44.5
United Nations Department for Peace Keeping Operations 37. 6 38.9
World Food Programme (WFP) 36.0 37.9
United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) 36.8 34.9
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria 25.7 33.9
United Nations High Comm. for Refugees (UNHCR) 24.4 27.9
African Development Fund (AFDF) 20.0 23.9
Global Environmental Facility (GEF) 14.2 15.0
United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refug (UNRWA) 11.0 13.6
Nordic Development Fund (NDF) 29.7 13.0
United Nations samfinansierede AIDs-Program (UNAIDS) 9.2 11.8
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) 11.3 11.6
Afican Development Bank (AFDB) 11.9 10.5
World Health Organization (WHO) 8.3 9.0
Asian Development Fund (ASDF) 8.4 8.9
International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) 8.2 8.2
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 9.3 7.6
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 0.0 6.6
International labour Organization (IlO) 3.7 5.8
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 3.9 4.2
International Union for the Conservation of Nature 3.7 3.9
International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) 3.7 3.9
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) 4.9 3.9
the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) 2.6 3.2
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN UNOHCHR) 4.5 2.6
International Trade Center (ITC) 2.4 2.4
International Finance Corporation(IFC) 1.7 2.4
International Partnership for Microbicides 1.8 2.0
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) 1.9 1.9
International AIDs Vaccine Initiative 1.8 1.9
Oxfam 0.0 1.9
International HIV/AIDs Alliance 1.8 1.9
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2.7 1.0
World Trade Organisation (WTO) 1.7 1.0
Asian Development Bank (ASDB) 0.7 1.0
International Monetary Fund (IMF) 5.7 0.2
United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) 4.9 0.0
Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) 4.6 0.0
International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) 2.3 0.0
The Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel 1.4 0.0
Other multilateral contributions 39.4 38.9
Other -3.9 -4.7
Multilateral assistance under Section 06.3 733.8 786.6
Other multilateral assistance not under Section 06.3
Community-financed EU assistance 156.9 179.6
General contributions to international organisations 7.7 8.0
Total multilateral assistance reported to OECD/DAC 898.3 974.2

*) With effect from 2008, JPOs in multilateral organisations (Section and assistance in the Middle East through the IBRD (Section are reported as bilateral assistance. The 2007 figures have been adjusted accordingly and cannot be directly compared with previous years.


Organisation USD million.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 52.4
Danish Refugee Council 23.0
World Food Programme (WFP) 21.0
DanChurchAid 19.3
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 17.5
Danish Red Cross 15.6
United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) 15.4
International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) 13.6
United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (UN CERF) 9.7
Save the Children Denmark 8.3
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) 3.9
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 3.7
Médecins Sans Frontières 3.3
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) 2.9
United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) 2.9
Caritas Denmark 2.5
Mission East 2.3
Danish De-mining Group 2.1
Adentist Development and Refief Agency Denmark (ADRA) 2.1
World Bank 1.9
Ibis 1.6
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) 1.2
Danish Emergency Management Agency 1.0
International Organisation for Migration (IOM) 0.9
Ministry of Defence 0.7
MS Danish Association for International Cooperation) 0.7
African Union (AU) 0.7
Other* 12.5
Total 244.5

*) The lowest limit is USD 0.6 million.
In this table humanitarian assistance is calculated as the sum of the humanitarian assistance reported as bilateral (Appropriations Act Section 06.39.02) and the humanitarian assistance reported as multilateral (Appropriations Act Section 06.39.01).

Humanitarian assistance, by countries and regions

Graph: Humanitarian assistance, by countries and regions

Including contributions to UNRWA

In this table humanitarian assistance is calculated as the sum of the humanitarian assistance reported as bilateral (Appropriations Act Section 06.39.02) and the humanitarian assistance reported as multilateral (Appropriations Act Section 06.39.01).


Organisation USD 1,000
MS Danish Association for International Cooperation 32,856
Ibis 23,280
DanChurchAid 22,122
Danish Red Cross 12,704
CARE Denmark 11,055
Project Advice and Training Centre* 10,489
Save the Children Denmark 8,823
LO/FTF Council 7,793
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) 6,448
3F United Federation of Danish Workers 5,551
Institute for Human Rights 3,552
Disabled Peoples Organisations Denmark (DPOD) 3,419
Caritas Denmark 3,006
Danish Missionary Council – Department of Development 2,859
Danish Afghanistan Committee 2,129
GV Ghana Friendship Groups in Denmark 1,887
Danish Burma Committee (DBC) 1,761
Danmission 1,760
World Wide Fund for Nature 1,701
Danish Youth Council (DUF) 1,646
Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees 1,645
Mission East 1,619
Nepenthes 1,608
Danish Hunters’ Association 1,570
Danish Family Planning Association 968
Organisation for Sustainable Energy (OVE) 937
International Child Solidarity 871
Danida 854
Dialogos 824
Danish Society of Polio and Accident Victims 822
International Centre for Education (FIC) 790
Danish Association of the Blind 767
Agricultural Development Denmark Asia 751
International Medical Cooperation Committee 637
Danish Outdoor Council 631
Danish Ornithological Society /DOF 581
Danish-Mongolian Society 561
AC Denmark – International Child Support 507
Danish Scout Council 452
The Danish Association for the Disabled 434
Danish-Ethiopian Mission 426
India Group Funen 416
Africa Contact 296
Salvation Army 271
Danish Forestry Extension 243
Axis 223
National Association of People with a Learning Disability – Lev 194
Baptist Union of Denmark 194
Danish EU-NGO platform 174
UNICEF Denmark 174
Danish Epilepsy Association 160
Shortcut to Development 156
BDM (Brødremenighedens Danske Mission) 135
Bicycles to Senegal 103
Katosi Women Development Trust 99
Women Action Group of Presby 44
Danish Society for a Living Sea 11
Danish Beekeepers’ Association 2
Association of Danish Folk High Schools -7
Danish 92 Group -84

*The Project Advice and Training Centre is a union of small NGOs in Denmark. Since 1996, the Centre’s secretariat in Aarhus has received support from Denmark for, among other things, running courses, advising inexperienced NGOs and especially for administering the Mini-Project Fund, which processes all NGO applications under 3 mio. Kr.

Geographical distribution of Danish NGOs’ development activities, 2008

Graph: Geographical distribution of Danish NGOs’ development activities, 2008


Click to see the table: 'DANISH NGOS’ SELF-FINANCING 2006-2008'


Transitional assistance

Graph: Transitional assistance

* Section 06.38.01 Multilateral regional and reconstruction assistance

Regional assistance

Graph: Regional assistance


Total research commitments as part of Danish development assistance comprised the following activity areas in 2008:  
Activity areas Amounts in USD million
Funds subject to competition, including projects under the Consultative Research Committee (FFU) and pilot projects 27.1
Support to three Danish research institutions and networks 17.2
Audits 1.2
International agricultural research 6.8
Other international development research 2.9
Total 55.2


Top 20 list of suppliers of consultancy services (short and long-term assignments), 2008
Total amount per company for contracts entered into by Danida
No. Company Number of long-
term contracts
Number of short-
term contracts

Total contract
amount USD million
1 COWI 13 57 16.7
2 NIRAS 8 6 15.3
3 International Media Support 1 1 7.6
4 Grontmij/Carl Bro 5 24 7.0
5 Dansk Energi Management 3 0 6.0
6 PKF (UK) 1 0 3.5
7 Nordic Consulting Group 0 45 3.4
8 CA 17 International / NTU 1 0 3.1
9 PEMconsult 0 26 2.5
10 Danish Technological Institute 1 1 2.2
11 RAMBØLL Management 2 3 2.1
12 Development Associates 0 21 1.7
13 Adam Smith International 2 0 1.4
14 DHI Institut for Vand og Miljø 0 15 1.0
15 UNEP Risø Centre 0 7 0.8
16 Resources Development Consultants (RDC) 0 11 0.8
17 Danish Institute for Human Rights 0 10 0.6
18 Local Government Denmark 0 6 0.6
19 Danish Chamber of Commerce 1 0 0.6
20 Skadkaer Consult 0 8 0.6
  Total 38 241 77.5

The 20 suppliers above account for 78.8% of the total contract amount of USD 98.3 million.


Udviklingen i udviklingsbistanden for udvalgte OECD-lande.
  Disbursements (net)
million USD[1]
Andel af BNI i %
  2007 2008* 2007 2008*
Sweden 4.339 4.730 0,93 0,98
Luxembourg 376 409 0,91 0,92
Norway 3.728 3.967 0,95 0,88
Denmark 2.562 2.800 0,81 0,82
Netherlands 6.224 6.993 0,81 0,80
Ireland 1.192 1.325 0,55 0,58
Belgium 1.953 2.381 0,43 0,47
Spain 5.140 6.686 0,37 0,43
Finland 981 1.139 0,39 0,43
Great Britain 9.849 11.409 0,36 0,43
Austria 1.808 1.681 0,50 0,42
Switzerland 1.685 2.016 0,37 0,41
France 9.884 10.957 0,38 0,39
Germany 12.291 13.910 0,37 0,38
Australia 2.669 3.166 0,32 0,34
Canada 4.080 4.725 0,29 0,32
New Zealand 320 346 0,27 0,30
Portugal 471 614 0,22 0,27
Greece 501 693 0,16 0,20
Italy 3.971 4.288 0,19 0,19
Japan 7.679 9.362 0,17 0,18
USA 21.787 26.008 0,16 0,18
Total, DAC countries 103.490 119.605 0,28 0,30
– of which EU countries 64.639 74.326 0,39 0,42

Amounts stated in current prices
* Preliminary statements


Year % af ODA*

* ODA = Official Development Assistance: Total Danish development assistance as reported to OECD/DAC.


— Does Danish development assistance make a satisfactory contribution to the achievement of the goals that were set up at the start? To answer this, in 2002 Danida introduced a relatively simple measuring system that is continuously developed. A target is selected for each component in the sector programmes in the 16 programme countries as well as in Niger, South Africa, Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand. In a roads programme, for example, this could be the number of kilometres of road that have been laid or maintained. If Denmark grants general budget support, the target may be one of the indicators laid out in the recipient country’s national poverty reduction strategy.

In 2008 a total of 316 targets were set up and this is how goal fulfilment looked: In general, goal fulfilment in 2008 is satisfactory. 82 per cent, i.e. the great majority of the targets, were fulfilled at either very satisfactory or satisfactory levels. The level is extremely constant. The corresponding figure was 81 per cent in 2004, 83 per cent in 2005, 82 per cent in 2006 and 79 per cent in 2007.

The reasons why individual targets did not meet expectations vary and are often linked to conditions in the individual sector. It may be, for example, because anticipated legislation in the recipient country was not adopted after all, problems recruiting an adviser, or the inability of the partner to place manpower or facilities at disposal to implement the programme according to schedule.

Goal fulfilment of around 80 per cent is generally regarded as adequate in bilateral development assistance. Achieving 100 per cent goal fulfilment is not a goal in itself, because it can just as well be an expression of ambitions being set too low beforehand as of the assistance being successful.

A: very satisfactory (minimum 96 per cent fulfilment) 199 targets 63 per cent of the targets
B: satisfactory (61-95 per cent fulfilment) 61 targets 19 per cent of the targets
C: less satisfactory (41-60 per cent fulfilment) 12 targets 4 per cent of the targets
D: not satisfactory (0-40 per cent fulfilment) 44 targets 14 per cent of the targets


— Between August 2004 and December 2008 there was suspicion of corruption, fraud or other type of financial irregularity in 289 cases in all involving Danish development assistance. The total sum was USD 23.0 million. All suspicious cases are investigated and the Rigsrevision – Audit of the State Accounts – is informed of the suspicion. In some cases the inquiry confirms the suspicion of fraud/ corruption while in other cases the opposite proves true. 201 of the 289 are now completed, while 88 had not yet been completed as per 31 December 2008.

With respect to the completed cases, it has been established that USD 3.6 million (24 per cent) of the total sum of 14.6 million under suspicion was written off as losses while USD 8.8 million (60 per cent) was paid back. Upon closer scrutiny USD 2.3 million (16 per cent) of the amount proved to be based on unfounded suspicion.

This amounts should be viewed in the context of Danida having granted approximately USD 9.7 billian in development assistance in more than 7,000 projects and programme during the same period.

The development in the number of cases and the variation in amounts

The figure below shows the development in the number of cases in the 2000-2008 period. In 2004 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tightened up the internal guidelines for the types of cases that the Audit of the state Accounts should be informed about. On that occasion it was made clear that there was no triviality limit concerning the scope of the information that should be given. As the figure shows, this had led to an increase in the number of reported cases.

The variation in the amounts involved in the cases can be seen in the figure below. The amount comprises what the case is thought to deal with at the time it was reported.

The cases concern possible loss of Danish and other donors’ funds, meaning that not all cases have to do with loss of Danish funds exclusively.

The amounts involved in the cases can vary from several million to a couple of thousand Danish kroner. The majority of the cases involve less than DDK 100,000 = USD 19,351.7

Danida’s website contains information about the challenges concerning abuse and the steps taken by Denmark to combat fraud and corruption. There are also more statistics about the extent of suspicion of abuse of Danish development assistance as well an updated overview of current single cases, which makes it possible to remain informed of the ongoing completion of cases.

See the site about fraud and corruption at

Number of cases per year

Graph: Number of cases per year

Amounts under suspicion*

Graph: Amounts under suspicion*

Stocktaking of completed cases

The overview on the next page shows all cases in which investigation of a suspicion of fraud were completed in 2008.

The completion of a case means that suspicion of abuse has proved to be unfounded, or – where the suspicion was justified – that the money that was misused was either paid back in full or in part, or that it has been established that the money is lost. Cases in progress are not included because they are still being investigated. As they are completed, these case will be added to the list which is continuously updated. The Audit of the State Accounts is kept informed about each case and is thus familiar with all completed and ongoing cases.

The list was drawn up as a follow up to Danida’s anti-corruption action plan and the principles of the Paris Declaration on mutual responsibility and transparency in the administration of development assistance (read about the Paris Declaration on page 47).

An overview of all completed cases since 2006 can be found on Danida’s website, where there is also further information about what the amounts cover.

Completed (month
and year)
Country or
Partner Objective of the activity Total amount under
suspicion in USD
Completion of the case
December 2008 Zambia Road Development Agency Road sector programme 0 Administrative practise concerning
tendering emphasised
November 2008 Afghanistan NGO - DA CAAR Local development 29,922 Robbery and assault
– money lost
November 2008 Mozambique Ministry of Health Health programme 0 Accounting irregularities solved
November 2008 Mozambique Ministry of Education Programme support to the
teaching sector
99,871 Money pain back
November 2008 Bangladesh Private company – Crown Agents Procurement agent 3,483 Money pain back
October 2008 Iraq Basra – monitoring unit Reconstruction 15,868 Cash balance entered as loss
October 2008 Tanzania NGO – Danish Hunters’ Association Protection of natural resources 882 Money pain back
October 2008 Benin Ministry of Water Water sector programme 27,247 Money pain back
September 2008 Mali
NGO – Groupe Pivot Election participation 0 Accounting irregularities solved
August 2008 Malaysia og
Private company – Geokon Partnership facility 331,301 Agreement on USD 16110 at court of
arbitration. Remainder lost
August 2008 Kenya NGO – PSD Peace and security project 8243 Money paid back
August 2008 Bolivia APDHB
– Institute of Human Rights
Human rights 38,231 Partly lost (2,975), 12,192. paid
back, suspicion annulled concerning
August 2008 Indonesia
Private company – Global Environment programme 16739 Partly lost(2,864)
Remainder paid back
August 2008 Bangladesh
NGO – Jessore Human Rights Organisation 4,354 Money paid back
August 2008 D.R. Congo NGO – DanChurchAid Local development 87,083 Money paid back
July 2008 Burkina Faso
Ministry of Justice N.A. 82,493 Money paid back
July 2008 Burkina Faso Ministry of Agriculture Agricultural programme 123,369 Money paid back
Juni 2008 Gambia
NGO – Friends of Gambia Renovation and shipment of
used equipment
1,54 mio.
(total grant)
Inquiry has shown that irregularities
did not occur. No loss
Juni 2008 Thailand Ministry of Environment/ COWI Environment programme 26,705 Money paid back
Juni 2008 Bangladesh
NGO – NGP/AUS Promotion of human rights 3,038 Money lost
May 2008 Sri Lanka NGO – Danish Refugee Council Humanitarian effort 417,720 Money paid back
April 2008 Denmark NGO – Global Information campaign 171,835 45,650 lost, remainder assessed as
free from suspicion
April 2008 Zimbabwe Departement IWSD Water resources
0 Cooperation planned but halted
before it began due to financial
March 2008 Bolivia NGO – IMCC Health project 112 Money paid back
March 2008 Ghana NGO – Ibis Good governance 105,804 Money paid back
March 2008 Burkina Faso Ministry of Decentralisation Decentralisation programme 27,383 Money paid back
March 2008 Senegal NGO – Bicycles to Senegal Bicycles to Senegal 25,738 Money paid back
February 2008 Benin Ministry of Water Water programme 10,995 Money paid back
January 2008 Sudan NGO – DanChurchAid Region-of-origin activity 9,635 Money paid back


The Danish Board for International Development Cooperation (or The Board) advises the Minister for Development Cooperation. The Board discusses suggestions for bilateral and multilateral programmes and proposals for Danida’s strategies and action plans.

The Minister for Development Cooperation appoints the Board’s nine members and one observer for three years. The Board meets ten times a year. By means of video conferencing, during its meetings The Board engages in dialogue with the Danish missions in countries where projects and programmes are implemented.

Klaus Aa. Bustrup (Chairman)
Leader of WWF’s global
climate programme

Kim Carstensen
WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

Freddy Svane
Managing Director
Danish Agricultural Council

Marie-Louise Knuppert
Secretary of the Danish
Confederation of Trade Unions
The Danish Confederation of Trade

Lars B. Goldschmidt
Confederation of Danish Industry

Henrik Secher Marcussen
Roskilde University
Institute of Geography and
International Development Studies

Anders Ladekarl
Secretary General
Danish Red Cross

Paul Mollerup
Managing Director
Danish Federation of Small and
Medium-Sized Enterprises

Anne Mette Kjær
Associate Professor, Ph.d.
Department of Political Science,
University of Aarhus

Alternate members

For Kim Carstensen
Frans Mikael Jansen
Secretary General
MS Danish association for
International Cooperation

For Freddy Svane
Marie Visti Hansen
Chief Consultant
Danish Chamber of Commerce

For Marie-Louise Knuppert
Erik Nielsen

Confederation of Danish Trade

For Lars B. Goldschmidt
Marie Gad
Confederation of Danish Industry

For Henrik Secher Marcussen
Lisbeth Valentin Hansen

For Anders Ladekarl
Lisa Henry

Relief Director

For Paul Mollerup
Vagn Bertelsen

Secretary General

For Anne Mette Kjær
Henrik Hansen
Faculty of Life Sciences
University of Copenhagen

Michael W. Hansen
Associate Professor, Ph.d.
Copenhagen Business School


The Consultative Research Committee for Development Research (or The Research Committee) is to ensure strategic utilisation of funds for development research, which amounted to USD 20.1 million in 2008.

The eight members of the Research Committee are appointed by the Minister for Development Cooperation for three years.

Henrik Secher Marcussen
Roskilde University, Chairman

Anne Mette Kjær
Associate Professor, Ph.d.
University of Aarhus

Lisbeth Valentin Hansen
Director, MSc.

The other appointed members of the Research Committee are:
Anette M. Reenberg

Professor, dr. scient.
University of Copenhagen, Vice-chairman

Peter Skinhøj
Professor, dr. med.
Copenhagen University Hospital

Niels Elers Koch
Managing Director, dr. agro.
University of Copenhagen

Jens Kovsted
Copenhagen Business School

John Nielsen
Head of Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs


The Committee for Mixed Credits distributes an annual frame for interest subvention of 350 mio. kr. (2008). Supplies of equipment and accompanying services in the developing countries are financed with interest-free loans.

The nine members of the Committee for Mixed Credits are appointed by the Minister for Development Cooperation. The Committee contains representatives from relevant ministries, trade unions and the business sector.

See the report from the Committee on page 56.

Lise Friis


Carsten Nilaus Pedersen
Head of Bilateral Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Rikke Friborg
Head of Department
The Danish Bankers Association

Signe Hansen
Special Consultant
Economic Council of the Labour

Karina Clausen, EKF
Senior underwriter
Ministry of Economic and Business

Jens Erik Ohrt
International consultant
Danish Confederation of Trade Unions

Henning Roslev Bukh
Cimbria Unigrain A/S
Confederation of Danish Industry

Business representatives

John K. Lassen

Ulla M. Konnerup Atkins
Head of Department

Personal alternate

For Carsten Nilaus Pedersen
Charlotte Laursen

Head of Department

For Rikke Friborg
Susanne Dolberg
Deputy Director

For Signe Hansen
Frithiof Hagen

For Karina Clausen
Jan Vassard

Deputy Director EKF

For Jens Erik Ohrt
Anette Berentzen
International consultant

For Henning Roslev Bukh
Marie Gad



The Danish Council for International Development Cooperation (or The Council) follows the work of The Board and offers advice and recommendations. The Council’s themes are determined by the chairman in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Council has approximately 50 members, who are appointed by the Minister for Development Cooperation for three years. The Council’s members are representatives of authorities, institutions and organisations, or private individuals with special expertise.

The Council deals with Danish development policy or current international issues.

Personal members

Holger Bernt Hansen
Professor, dr. phil.
Centre of African Studies
University of Copenhagen

Christian Friis Bach
International director

Hans-Henrik Brydensholt
Council Chairman
High Court Judge, retired

Ib Bygbjerg
Department of International Health Institute of Public Health
Centre of Health and Society University of Copenhagen

Viggo Fischer
Danish Afghanistan Committee

Lise Friis

Ebba Holme Hansen
The Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Ib Kok Hansen
Political Adviser

Hans-Henrik Holm
Head of Department
Jean Monnet Professor Danish School of Journalism

Peter Damgaard Jensen
Managing Director PKA A/S

Anders Jerichow

David Madié
Chairman of Board of Directors Metrocomia Scandinavia A/S

Britha Mikkelsen
Head of Research Cowi A/S

Finn Tarp
Department of Economics University of Copenhagen

Knud Vilby

Johannes Østergaard
Senior Consultant
Danish Agricultural Council

Representatives of organisations

Henriette Laursen
Danish Aids Foundation

Ian Reeckmann
International Director AI-Rådet

Klaus Nørlem
Secretary General Danish People’s Aid

Annette Lüdeking
The Danish Children’s Fund

Leo Bjørnskov
Chairman of the Board CARE Denmark

Jan Sjursen
Secretary General Caritas

Tore Asmussen
International Secretary Danish Union of Teachers

Henriette Thuen
Export Director
Danish Brewers’ Association

Thorkild E. Jensen
Danish Metal Workers’ Union

Marie Visti Hansen
Chief Consultant
Danish Chamber of Commerce

Claus Larsen
Head of the Africa-Asia-Middle East Section
Danish Refugee Council

Jens Bromann
Disabled Peoples Organisation Denmark

Marie Gad
Confederation of Danish Industry

Nanna Hvidt
Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)

Wivie Schärfe
Vice-president Danish Red Cross

Julie Koch
Head of International Programme
Danish Youth Council

Henrik Nedergaard
Danish Diabetes Association

Susanne Schøtt
Deputy Director
The Danish Bankers Association

Anni Herfort Andersen
Secretary General
Danish United Nations Association

Henrik Stubkjær
Secretary General

Bjarne B. Christensen
Secretary General
Danish Family Planning Association

Marianne Lykke Thomsen
Senior Adviser Greenland Home Rule

Hans Laugesen
International Secretary
Danish National Union of Upper Secondary School Teachers

Jens Kvorning
Head of Department
Danish Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Annemette Danielsen
Deputy Chairman IBIS

Hans Peter Dejgaard
Civil Engineer
Danish Society of Engineers

Jonas Christoffersen
Director, dr. jur.
Institute of Human Rights

Janice Goodson Førde
Women and Development

Helle Poulsen
Board Member
Women’s Council in Denmark

Jan Laustsen
Deputy Director
Danish Agricultural Council

Erik Nielsen
International Consultant Danish Confederation of Trade Unions

Søren Brix Christensen
Médecins Sans Frontières


The Information Committee advises the Board and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning principles and guidelines for granting subsidy for information activity in Denmark about the developing countries. The Information Committee together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs distributes the funds in the Information Grant, which amounted to USD 2.5 million in 2008.

The Information Committee was set up by the Board for International Development Cooperation and in 2008 consisted of seven persons appointed for three years by the Minister for Development Cooperation. In 2009 the Committee was expanded with a representative of the Ministry of Education.

Kim Carstensen
Chairman of the World Wide Fund for Nature

Mette Davidsen-Nielsen
Formerly head of DR2

Hans-Henrik Holm
Head of Department
Jean Monnet Professor Danish School of Journalism

Lotte Folke Kaarsholm
Journalist Information

John Pedersen
Firm of Consultants, Operate

Poul Tang
ICT consultant
County Centre for Teaching

Vibeke Vinther
Head of Communication MS Danish Association for International Cooperation


Development cooperation comprises many different types of assistance. The wide range of types and instruments of assistance ensures that Denmark is able to organise flexible, versatile development cooperation and play an active part in development policy in numerous contexts. At the same time, the various types of assistance can often complement each other to maximise their effect.

Bilateral and Multilateral Assistance

Assistance given directly by one country to another is called bilateral assistance. Multilateral assistance, on the other hand, is channelled through international organisations, for example UN organisations, the World Bank Group and the EU.

Mixed Credits

The scheme involving mixed credits for developing countries was established in 1993. A mixed credit is a loan on terms like those of an export credit, whereby Danida pays interest, export credit premium and other financial costs. The credit can finance project supplies to development projects in credit-worthy developing countries with a per capita GNP of maximum USD 2,961.

Budget support

The definition of budget support is that donor funds are administered together with the funds of the programme country itself and are utilised through the public expenditure system in the developing country with the objective of financing the public budget. When Denmark grants budget support, financial means from this are transferred from the Danish Government to the government in the developing country. The Danish funds are pooled with the funds of the developing country, are utilised through the developing country’s own financial systems, and are managed by using the developing country’s own procedures for the administration of finances. This form of assistance is used to an increasing extent because to a very high degree it promotes the developing country’s ownership of development and because the creation of expensive parallel structures is avoided. General budget support can be granted as well as more specific budget support where the support goes directly to a particular sector.

When the funds are used, the Danish funds cannot be separated from other funds in the developing country’s budget. It is thus impossible to earmark Danish funds when this form of assistance is employed. For this reason a certain quality in the budget and the financial management is required. In the countries where Denmark grants budget support, capacity building always forms part of the support. This improves the ability of public institutions for good financial management and administration.

Denmark never grants budget support alone, but always in cooperation with other donors. However, this does not alter the possibility of Denmark taking independent steps if this proves necessary.

Humanitarian Assistance

Danish contributions to emergency aid, including disaster relief, and contributions to international refugee cooperation come under the heading of humanitarian assistance. This is generally provided through international aid organisations.

NGO Assistance

A significant part of Danish assistance is channelled through private organisations – NGOs. NGOs have a number of comparative advantages in relation to other actors in development assistance cooperation. For example, NGOs are particularly well qualified to create international understanding and to consolidate popular support for development assistance in both the North and the South. At the same time, NGOs work closely with local organisations in the South, involving the target groups who are highly prioritized in Danish assistance and reinforcing the role of the local partners in civil society.

Transitional assistance

Transitional assistance may be granted for a period of time to developing countries undergoing a period of drastic reorganisation or reconstruction, for example following economic liberalisation or armed conflict. Transitional assistance comprises provisional but multi-annual initiatives. Denmark seeks to organise it such that it can be implemented without prolonged Danish assistance.

Personnel Assistance

Personnel assistance is provided to partners as part of technical assistance for capacity building. Advisers play a central part in sector programme support as contributors to the partner dialogue, as contributors of specific knowledge and experience and as agents of Danish assistance.

Programme Assistance – Crosscutting Initiatives
To achieve positive, sustainable results through sector programme support, it is often necessary, in advance or in parallel, to implement initiatives at macro level or in areas that cover several sectors. Typical areas are general budget support, the implementation of public sector reforms including decentralisation, activities for the promotion of democratisation, respect for human rights and good governance and the promotion of a favourable business climate.

Project assistance

Project assistance is a temporary, organised effort aiming at achieving a defined goal. This may be, for example, support for building schools in a specific area.

B2B Programme

Denmark’s Business-to-Business Programme (B2B Programme) comprises support for the establishment of long-term cooperation between Danish and local companies in Danish programme countries and South Africa. The aim of the B2B Programme is to further local business development with a focus on the following development criteria: a) Increased employment, including a focus on women in work, b) Environmental improvements, including the working environment and the outer environment, c) Promotion of crosscutting considerations such as employee rights and d) Strengthening of the local company’s competitiveness.

Regional assistance

Efforts are taking place at regional level to promote regional cooperation and integration. Regional assistance is focused on natural resource management and the environment, economic cooperation and integration, conflict prevention and conflict resolution, human rights and democracy and certain specific functional areas, for example infrastructure.

Sector Programme Support

Since the mid-1990’s, bilateral assistance has been reorganised from project assistance to sector programme support. Sector programme support for programme countries is concentrated in 2-4 sectors per country. Sector support may assume many forms. The form depends, for example, on the sector and recipient country involved and how well the country’s administrative system works. This type of assistance is conditional on the recipient country either having or being in the process of preparing a national sector strategy.

Danida’s support programme in a sector is long-term, typically lasting 15-20 years, and may comprise funds for both operations and investment.

In most cases, sectors are more traditional sectors such as agriculture, health care and education. However, as in Bolivia, the sector approach may also involve the status and development potential of the indigenous peoples, or a cross-cutting business sector programme as in Tanzania and Ghana.

Within the framework of a sector programme, Danida normally supports development and capacity building at multiple levels. At the top level, it supports the development of national policies, strategies and action plans for activities in the sector.

At the intermediate levels in particular, for example in agencies and administrative districts, support is provided for the enhancement of institutional capacity. This may involve the training and education of administrators and accountants, or it may take the form of support for administrative reforms, making the organisation better equipped to implement the sector plans.

The major part of sector programme support involves support for the implementation of concrete activities for the population in districts and municipalities. This may take the form of construction of health care clinics and the establishment of water supplies in poor rural areas, improvement of cultivation methods for small farmers, or development of secondary roads in areas with poor road connections.

The specific activities under the sector programme, such as capacity building, administrative reforms, vaccination or construction of clinics, are called components.

At the core of a sector programme is the principle that the recipient country gains ownership of development programmes and activities. Ownership means that the recipient country takes or may assume responsibility for the organisation of the programmes and the implementation of the activities. It is also the intention that in the long term the recipient country should finance ever-increasing parts of the initiatives.

There may be eight to ten different donors in a sector. Reorganisation to sector programme support requires that the donors coordinate their activities and base them on the plans and strategies of the recipient country for a given sector to a much greater extent than previously.


In contrast to former years, the list of abbreviations contains only abbreviations appearing in the 2008 annual report.


AAA Accra Agenda for Action
Status meeting for the Paris Declaration held in Accra in 2008. At a meeting in the capital of Ghana on 4 September 2008, donors, recipient countries and international organisations adopted the action plan entitled the Accra Agenda for Action, which, overall, is to safeguard better development assistance. www.accrahlf. net
AFAFSI Association des Femmes Africaines Face au Sida.

Association of African women against AIDS. Informs prostitutes about HIV/AIDS and reproductive health. AFAFSI receives financial support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
AL Awami League
The biggest political party in Bangladesh. www.albd. org
AMREF African Medical & Research Foundation International African organisation working for better health in Africa.
APDHB Asamblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos de Bolivia
The Permanent Assembly for Human Rights. Largest human rights organisation in Bolivia. Works to disseminate knowledge and defence of human rights. www.


B2B Business-to-Business Programme
The objective of the B2B Programme is to promote the establishment of long-term, sustainable cooperation between enterprises in Denmark and the programme countries. It is to promote local business development by means of knowledge transfer in the environment area, education and training, inter alia.
BOP Base of the Pyramid
BOP refers to the more than four billion of the poorest people in the world who live on less than two dollars a day.


CIMIC Civilian Military Cooperation
The main objective of civilian-military cooperation is to support the military force in the mission area and to act as a link to all civilian actors – local authorities as well as international organisations.
COP Conference of the Parties
The annual conferences that are to flesh out UN conventions with concrete, binding content. The best known in the climate area is COP3, held in Kyoto. COP15 is to be held in Copenhagen in 2009.


DAC Development Assistance Committee
The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee handles questions concerning cooperation with developing countries. The committee consists of 21 countries. DAARTT Danish Assistance to Afghan Rehabilitation and Technical Training
Danida Danish International Development Assistance The term for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ development assistance cooperation with developing countries.
DCISM Danish Centre for International Studies and Human Rights
The centre was established in 2002 for the promotion of research, analyses and information activities in Denmark concerning international affairs such as security and development policy. Consists of the Danish Institute for International Studies and the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
DIIS Danish Institute for International Studies
Part of the Danish Centre for International Studies and Human Rights. A private institution, it is to strengthen research, reporting and information in Denmark on international matters.


ECHO European Community Humanitarian office Administers the EU’s grants for humanitarian assistance that are channelled through other organisations, including UN organisations, the Red Cross and other NGOs. ECHO falls within the jurisdiction of the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid.
EKF Eksport Kredit Fonden
Independent state administrative unit that safeguards Danish trade and industry against commercial and political risks involved in international business in markets with heightened risks.
EU European Union
EUF European Development Fund
Created by the EU member states with the aim of providing development assistance to the ACP countries and to overseas areas of member states.


FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Works to improve nutrition and living conditions and to increase agricultural production and improve the standard of living in rural districts.
FTI Fast Track Initiative
Global partnership between donors and developing countries to ensure continued progress towards the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goal concerning primary education.


GDP Gross Domestic Product
Indicates the total production of goods and services within a country irrespective of whether it is used for consumption, investment or export purposes.

GEF Global Environmental Facility
Established in 1991. Cooperation between the World Bank, the UN and others. Supports activities that produce environmental gains in the areas of biodiversity, climate change and water. http://www.gefweb.ord
GNI Gross National Income
Calculated as GDP plus net domestic product at factor cost from abroad. The net domestic product at factor cost consists of earning sent home from abroad minus interest payments to foreign countries and foreigners’ net profit repatriation (profit on business activities and investments).

A meeting forum where participants from the industrialised countries and the developing countries gather to discuss key issues in the global economy. The G20 consists of the 19 biggest economies in the world plus the EU. The G20 countries represent a total of 90 % of world GDP and two-thirds of the world’s population.


HIPC Initiative Highly Indebted Poor Countries
Debt relief initiative for the most heavily indebted poor countries. htm


IDA International Development Association

Provides economic support to the poorer countries in the form of loans on particularly favourable terms.
IDS Institute for Development Studies
Leading global organisation for research, teaching and communication concerning international development.
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development Aims to finance investments in rural areas in developing countries.
IFU Industrialisation Fund for Developing Countries
Its aim is to participate in Danish investments in developing countries by means of consultancy, share subscription, granting loans and other start-up measures.
IFV Investment Fund for Emerging Markets
The objective was to improve the possibilities of the business sector to set up in emerging markets with a view to strengthening the internationalisation of the enterprises. The Government decided that with effect from 1 January that IFV was not to make any new investments and that the Fund should be phased out in step with IFV phasing out its financial engagement in the projects.
IMCC International Medical Cooperation Committee
The objective is to promote national and international cooperation about and understanding of health-related issues. Nation-wide organisation consisting mainly of medical students.
IMF International Monetary Fund
Its task is to promote economic growth by means of international monetary cooperation, to promote stability in exchange rates, and to give its member states the opportunity, via credits, to correct their balance of payments.
IPM International Partnership for Microbicides Non-profit product development partnership (PDP) established in 2002 to prevent HIV infection by accelerating the development and accessibility of a safe and effective microbicide product for the use of women in the developing countries. IPPF International Planned Parenthood Federation. Works with sexual and reproductive health and the right to choose pregnancy.
IUCN The International Union for Conservation of Nature Union to conserve natural diversity. Both states and NGOs are members.
IWSD Institute of Water and Sanitation Development Regional centre in Zimbabwe for institutional capacity building in the field of water and sanitation. www.iwsd.
The Investment Fund for Central and Eastern Europe The objective is to further Danish investments in Central and Eastern Europe, thus assisting reform-friendly countries to achieve increased economic growth and business development.


LRA Lord’s Resistance Army
Guerrilla army operating mainly in northern Uganda and parts of Sudan.


MDG Millennium Development Goals
The UN’s Millennium Development Goals MOPAN Multilateral Organisations Performance Assessment Network
Network of donors with a common interest in exchanging information. The organisation draws on the mutual experience of donors’ monitoring and assessment of the work and performance of multilateral organisations.


Online marketplace for Africa’s entrepreneurs and investors.


NDC National Democratic Congress
One of the largest political parties in Ghana.

NGO Non-governmental Organisation
Nordic+ A group of countries consisting of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, England and the Netherlands. The overall aim is to ensure more effective development assistance.


OECD Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
Its aim is to promote cooperation for rapid, sound economic development both in its 30 member states and the world in general. 21 of its members cooperate in the DAC (see DAC entry) on development issues. www.
OHCHR office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Aims to promote and protect human rights for all. www.


PSD Private Sector Development
Strategy to promote economic growth and reduce poverty in the developing countries by involving the private sector.


SDR Special Drawing Rights
An international reserve asset used by the IMF for internal accountancy purposes. Is used as an international reserve asset by the member states.


UN United Nations
UNAIDS UN programme that coordinates efforts to combat AIDS.
UNCAC United Nations Convention Against Corruption
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
Assists developing countries with their development and capacity building and coordinates the UN’s development activities in the individual countries. The UNDP is present in 166 countries. and
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
Works to monitor the environment, make assessments and issue early warnings. Aims to promote environmental activities throughout the UN system.

UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Works for peace and security by promoting cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
Works to promote reproductive health (health in connection with family planning, pregnancy and birth) and to create awareness of the social, economic, environmental and human rights-related aspects of population development.
UNGEI United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative
UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Aims to coordinate international actions to protect refugees and alleviate refugee problems throughout the world.
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund
Defends, promotes and protects children’s rights. Helps children and their families to develop. and
UNIFEM United Nations Development Fund for Women Provides financial and other assistance to promote gender equality and to strengthen women’s influence.
UNMAS United Nations Mine Action Service
Serves as the UN nerve centre for all mine-related issues and activities.
UNRWA United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Works to provide education, health and social assistance for Palestinian refugees in the Middle East and to relieve need.


WFP World Food Programme
The world’s largest emergency food aid and development organisation. Aims to relieve famine and to support economic and social development. WHO World Health Organisation
Works to ensure health for all. In particular provides assistance in the field of health to the developing countries and Central and Eastern Europe. WTO World Trade Organisation ( formerly GATT)

Works on common trade rules for all the nations of the world.


This page forms part of the publication 'Denmark’s participation in international development cooperation 2008' as Entire publication with graphics
Version 1.0. 07-07-2009
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