German Development Minister: Cities are Important Development Partners
|German Development Minister Dirk Niebel. Photo: BMZ|
"Some mega cities have a population which is bigger than that of a medium-sized country. This clearly shows that development in cities is crucial to fight poverty, provide health care, give people access to energy, reduce resource consumption and achieve democratic participation. Cities will be playing an even more important role in upcoming international negotiations on development. I would like to encourage German cities to also get actively involved in negotiations and forge alliances with other cities", the Minister said after the talks, during which he also met the Lord Mayor of the city of Heidelberg, Eckart Würzner.
Germany is currently implementing more than 210 urban development projects in over 50 countries with a total funding volume of approximately 2.1 billion euros. In 1999, the BMZ started its cooperation with UN Habitat, and, in 2007, Germany founded the "Cities Development Initiative for Asia" together with the Asian Development Bank. Moreover, the Global Civic Engagement service point was established at the BMZ by Dirk Niebel with the aim of encouraging German communities to get involved in development cooperation.
The BMZ is also supporting the world's largest local government association for environmental protection and sustainable development "ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability".