The churches play an extremely important role in German development policy. Along with their partners in developing countries, the churches have been working for 50 years within the framework of the development cooperation of the Federal Republic of Germany. In many parts of the world they have been able to ease the poverty of the people and enhance their living conditions.

Churches are able to mobilise sections of civil society worldwide, and can thus exert a strategic influence on political awareness building. For instance, the churches played an important part in the adoption of the debt relief initiative HIPC II at the Cologne economic summit in 1999.

Through the Protestant Association for Cooperation in Development (EZE) in Bonn and its Catholic counterpart, the Catholic Central Agency for Development Aid in Aix-la-Chapelle, the churches received subsidies of 216 million euros in 2012 from the BMZ.

The German government is building its new concepts for civil conflict management and crisis prevention in part on the experience of church development services. This field and human rights have for many years been a focus of church development work.

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