Meryame Kitir, Minister of Development Cooperation and of Major Cities

Activity report 2021/2022 – Foreword

meryame kitir

Every day, development cooperation workers make international solidarity possible and give people the means to stand up and build a future for themselves. Such is our mission.

We must work together across borders as partners. Not for charity, but because we have the same challenges and all live together on the same planet. More than ever, we realise that people are connected globally. No matter who or where, the challenges and the dreams are often the same. So are the concerns.

Indeed, in times of uncertainty, solidarity is always the solution. This is the positive thing we should remember of corona times: We have managed this pandemic by working together across borders. Last winter’s Omicron variant taught us a harsh lesson: Global challenges cannot be solved nationally. We will not be safe until everyone is safe.

Unfortunately, we are not there yet. Two years after the outbreak of the pandemic, today more than 85% of the people in Africa are still not fully vaccinated. But we are making progress and I am proud that within Europe Belgium is playing a leading role in accelerating access to vaccines worldwide. Together with the World Health Organisation, we invested in South African scientific research that led to the unravelling of the mRNA code of the corona vaccine. This is a real breakthrough for global health. Not only to accelerate the local production of corona vaccines, but also in the long-term fight against infectious diseases. That is exactly what development cooperation should be for me: not charity, but providing tools to sustainably strengthen countries and people worldwide.


‘For the first time, we have launched a climate programme in the Sahel region that no longer invests in each partner country individually, but rather focuses on a global approach.’


After all, the willingness to make a difference is strong. Young people no longer shy away from the greatest challenges of the century because they know they are not alone. Every action matters. The climate marches of young people all over the world started because today we are in touch with each other at all times. They made it clear to the world that it is more than ever time to join forces. Climate change requires a common international solidarity approach.

For the first time, therefore, we have launched a climate programme in the Sahel region that no longer invests in each partner country individually, but rather focuses on a global approach. Both at the Glasgow COP26 and in the Sahel region, young people gave me the same message: We must act now, to secure the future. Young people realise better than anyone else that extreme droughts in countries such as Burkina Faso and Senegal are jeopardising future dreams of the local population but are also having an impact elsewhere.

Looking back at the past year, one cannot, unfortunately, avoid gloom. The human suffering caused by conflict is unseen. The war in Ukraine is the latest on a list of humanitarian crises. Millions of people are currently fleeing Ukraine for Europe, while needs are also high in Afghanistan and hunger is ruthlessly spreading in Yemen. With our humanitarian partners, we are doing all we can to get aid to the people as quickly as possible, wherever it is needed.

In recent weeks we have seen that Belgian solidarity is powerful and help goes strong. In the coming months and years, we will resolutely extend this wave of solidarity to all people in need, all over the world. For those fleeing war must be helped. Without distinction of origin, religion, colour or gender. All refugees are human beings.

More updates and resources

young people at Station J News

22 March 2023

Station J: broadening the minds of young Palestinians

In East Jerusalem, Enabel partnered with Station J, an innovation hub, to guide young innovators and potential entrepreneurs from ideation stages to investment and job opportunities.  

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14 March 2023

Digital Technologies taking Education in Uganda to the next level

All over the world, digital technologies are becoming an integral part of the education experience. In Uganda, the introduction of ICT tools to fight teacher absenteeism in National Teacher’ Colleges has proven its worth.

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09 March 2023

Junior Programme – Looking for young talents!

Between March 9 and 23, 14 new vacancies in various sectors will be open to young talents with the European nationality.

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learning centre in Bani Zeid, Palestine News

28 February 2023

Rehabilitation of historical centres in Palestine

In the West Bank, we support the rehabilitation of historical buildings. Spotlight on Bani Zeid, a town where an old family house became a centre for children with learning disabilities.

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31 January 2023

Ruminant livestock in Mali: Nana Sangaré Dembélé’s story

To alleviate more and more frequent crop failures, Mali and its partner countries have looked for techniques that can be adopted by agro-pastoralists. Fattening is one of the techniques favoured by the interested parties. Nana shares how she is using this technique and how it offers her a more stable income.

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Two women look into the camera showing their garden in Niger. A girls hides behind a tree. Goats are running around the garden. News

31 January 2023

Domestic biogas, a sustainable energy solution tested in Niger

In Niger, more than 90% of households use wood as fuel for cooking. To help preserve the environment, Enabel is experimenting with the production of domestic biogas with 10 agropastoralist households in the villages of Nawdéo and Rounto Tanda in the Dosso region. Read the story.

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