Development cooperation denotes a concerted effort taken in partnership by developed and developing countries, international organizations and non-state institutions (including NGOs and businesses) to level out global development differences by raising living standards in less developed countries. Development cooperation aims to reduce and eradicate poverty around the world.
Defined as a major restriction on one’s development opportunities, poverty causes hunger, high infant mortality and limited access to education in developing countries. This definition helps us better understand why unfair access to economic resources engenders negative social (ghettoization and marginalization of entire social groups, discrimination of women) and political (wars, terrorism) phenomena.
Development cooperation represents developed countries’ response to the problem of poverty, which continues to plague many countries in the 21st century. Given their difficulty attaining development solely by themselves, developing countries seek assistance from other countries and international institutions. Filling the global development gap is a modern-day challenge. Famine and poverty call for global solutions, but at the same time need to be addressed by each state individually.
According to the Development Cooperation Act, development cooperation shall be understood as the totality of actions undertaken by government agencies in line with the international solidarity rule, with a view to providing developing countries or their societies with:
1) development aid, consisting in particular in:
a) promoting and supporting the development of democracy and civil society, including development of parliamentarism, principles of good governance, and respect for human rights,
2) humanitarian aid, consisting in particular in providing aid, care and protection of a population affected by armed conflict, natural disaster or other humanitarian crises caused by nature or man.
In the framework of development cooperation, educational activities shall also be undertaken in order to increase awareness and understanding for global problems and interdependence between countries.