Development cooperation in Asia is targeted at reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development, good governance and respect for human rights
School children in Kathmandu, Nepal.Photo: Jørgen Schytte
Denmark’s development assistance forms an important part of our presence in Asia. It is a crucial precondition that development cooperation should be aligned in step with the countries’ development. The focus is on where special needs exist as the concrete challenges differ from one country to the other.
In Asia Denmark also supports private sector development based on a wish to contribute to growth and employment and to provide the Danish business community with a footing in Asia.
One of the objectives of Danish development assistance in Asia is also environmental interventions that contribute to counteract the negative environmental consequences that result from the region’s swift growth and which often affect the poor part of the population.
Development assistance in Asia goes primarily to countries in Southern Asia with active engagements in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. This is because it is Denmark’s ambition to be present where it does most good and where we can achieve the most and the best results.
In countries outside of Southern Asia development cooperation is mainly targeted at promoting democracy and human rights as well as climate and environment. This applies to efforts in Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma.
Danish development cooperation in Asia facilitates the following, among other things:
Asia is without comparison the region in the world where most poor people live. Despite massive progress, the range remains great in Asia – from fast-growing economies to some of the poorest countries in the world with weak states.
The number of people in Asia living on less than USD 1 a day has fallen from 34 per cent in 1990 to 19 per cent today. Economic growth has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. But behind the impressive results in the large growth economies – in particular China, India and the growth countries in Southeast Asia - great inequality still exists between poor and rich. Poverty will remain a challenge in Asia — perhaps the greatest in both the growth countries and the weak states.Ensuring that the benefits from Asia’s economic growth are more equally distributed will constitute a decisive challenge. Promoting good governance is an important element here, so that rising incomes in the countries can contribute to raising more people out of poverty. Other elements include continued private sector development, including the agricultural sector that still employs the majority of the poor. Strengthening education and health is also important to ensure that more people can take part in and benefit from the transition to industrial and service societies.
Massive poverty and growing inequality — both between the countries and within the countries — can halt development in Asia. Social tensions, increased instability in the region and in the individual countries are also among the possible scenarios. Failure to act to reduce poverty could prove to be Asia’s Achilles heel.
For many years to come, the great challenge in Asia — for the region itself and for the international community — will be to ensure poor and vulnerable population groups’ access to globalisation. The countries themselves are responsible for this but the international community must help them.
Denmark’s presence in Asia includes development cooperation with the following partner countries:
In addition, Denmark grants development assistance to the following countries in Asia, where there is special focus on democracy and human rights as well as on climate and environment:
Finally, Denmark grants regional assistance in Asia aimed at strengthening regional processes and networks that can further democracy, human rights and constitutional state principles in the region.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of DenmarkDanidaAsiatisk Plads 2 DK-1448 Copenhagen K Tel. +45 33 92 00 00Fax +45 32 54 05 email@example.com