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2015-12_dc

D+C  e-Paper  December 2015 39 offices and financial supervisory author- ities. ■■ Inequality is growing in middle-income and newly-industrialising countries. The trend is putting at risk economic growth and political stability. The vast majority of the world’s poor now live in emerg- ing markets, including India, China and Brazil for instance. Development policy must respond to the fact that poverty is no longer first and foremost a problem of the least-developed countries. However, the middle-income countries concerned – and especially their upper and middle classes – can afford to make their own contributions to reducing poverty. Ger- man development policy should focus on improving social-protection systems, the collective provision of global public goods (such as protecting the climate, biodiversity and the environment in general) and the cooperation of scien- tists and universities. ■■ Despite considerable progress in the fight against poverty, 850 million peo- ple are still undernourished. Hunger has various causes, including fast popula- tion growth, insufficient rural infrastruc- ture and inadequate agricultural devel- opment. Environmental damages and speculation in food commodities matter too. A lot needs to be done concerning support for smallholder farmers, improv- ing food storage, irrigation et cetera. ■■ Climate change has turned out to be an even greater problem than was antici- pated at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Rainy seasons have become unpredictable, droughts alter- nate with floods, and we are witness- ing ever stronger storms. Since climate change can no longer be prevented, policy makers need to draft adapta- tion strategies (early warning systems, disaster prevention) while mitigating the phenomenon at the same time (by reducing resource consumption, pro- moting renewable energies, the protec- tion of forests and biodiversity et cetera). ■■ Fragile statehood and violent conflicts are currently affecting some 40 coun- tries with 1.5 billion people. Develop- ment policy should focus on these coun- tries. Suitable instruments for tackling their problems include traditional devel- opment cooperation, humanitarian aid, food aid, peace-corps operations as pro- vided by Germany’s Civil Peace Service, administrative and legal assistance and support for civil society. ■■ To date, development policy has largely ignored questions of culture and reli- gion. But to draft the most effective poli- cies, it is important to understand how world religions and major cultures pro- mote or hamper development. ■■ German development policy also needs institutional reform. Foreign partners are confused by the fact that there are two major agencies, GIZ and the KfW Development Bank. And since the two institutions tend to compete with each other, there is fric- tion between them. It would make sense to merge them. The coming decades will determine whether poverty and hunger will be relegated to history along with slavery, or if a new era marked by conflict, exclusion and chaos will erase the pro- gress made in the past 60 years. Reference: Bohnet, M., 2015: Geschichte der deutschen Entwicklungspoli- tik: Strategien, Innenansichten, Zeitzeugen und Herausforder- ungen (The history of German development policies: strategies, witness insights and future challenges – in German only). Munich: Lucius Michael Bohnet is a former director general of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. [email protected] Walter Scheel, the first federal minister for economic cooperation, in Egypt in 1963. Rohwedder/picture-alliance Tribune

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