The priority areas of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) include the global realisation of human rights, the fight against hunger and poverty, protection of the environment and biodiversity, health and education, gender equality, fair supply chains, the use of digitalisation and technology transfer, and the strengthening of private investment to promote sustainable development worldwide.
All over the world, religious communities and organisations are strong civil society actors. Religion gives strength and orientation to many people worldwide and inspires millions of people to engage in welfare and humanitarian work. Many are committed to improving living conditions and sustainable development, also in areas where state agencies reach their limits. Therefore, BMZ regards religious actors as important partners in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.
BMZ recognised the relevance of religion in development and international cooperation early on. In 2016, the ministry published the strategy “Religions as Partners in Development Cooperation” and spearheaded the establishment of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) in the same year with various international partners, including USAID.