Since 1980, the development cooperation policy has been one of the central tenets of Luxembourg's foreign policy. In line with the commitments adopted in the government programme for the period 2013-18, the country currently invests 1% of its gross national income (GNI) into development aid, making it one of the five most ambitious developed economies in this field. Luxembourg's cooperation policy is based on targeted partnerships and underpinned by the key principles of reliability, commitment and expertise. It is geared towards the eradication of poverty, especially in the least developed countries, and is consistent with the goal of sustainable development.
For reasons of efficiency and impact, Luxembourg's development cooperation involves a policy of targeted intervention in a small number of partner countries.
Luxembourg chooses where to focus its cooperation policy, on the basis of the Human Development Index developed by the United Nations Programme for Development, as well as regional considerations and particularly fragile situations. The country adopts multiannual cooperation programmes, known as 'Indicative Cooperation Programmes' (PIC, programme indicatif de coopération), with seven 'partner countries', five of which are based in West Africa. It also supports programmes in seven other countries known as 'project countries'.
Priority areas for cooperation are education – including vocational training and access to employment –, health and local development. Broad themes addressed are gender, the environment, climate change and governance.
On the ground
Cooperation policy is implemented both bilaterally, mainly through the Lux-Development agency, and multilaterally, through United Nations and European Union agencies.
The country's cooperation policy is also implemented by civil society, including almost a hundred co-funded accredited Luxembourg development NGOs, and through the private sector, via public-private partnerships. Luxembourg also supports NGOs and institutions involved in the field of microfinance.
Official development assistance (ODA) in Luxembourg includes humanitarian action, which is developed in accordance with international humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law. Humanitarian action enables the country to respond to emergency situations in the event of major crises such as humanitarian and natural catastrophes and violent conflicts. Luxembourg's ODA also involves a component for the prevention of humanitarian catastrophes and a transitional component, which deals with the transition from the occurrence of a humanitarian catastrophe to rebuilding and the resumption of development activities.