published on www.cgdev.org, 06.09.2021
As Angela Merkel’s 16 years at the helm of the German government come to a close, Germany’s international cooperation for sustainable development seems, at first sight, to be in good shape. During her tenure, German official development assistance (ODA) more than tripled, reaching $28 billion in 2020 and putting Germany second only to the United States ($34 billion) and well ahead of the United Kingdom ($19 billion) and the EU Institutions ($17 billion). Germany boasts an independent cabinet-level Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) that steers 75 percent of the federal government’s ODA. The remainder sits primarily with the Foreign Office (15 percent) followed way behind by the Ministry for the Environment (2.5 percent) and some others. It might seem, then, that the outlook is sanguine for Germany’s development cooperation. But is it?