Southern Africa Regional Strategy Paper 2002
The Department for International Development (DFID) is the UK government department responsible for promoting development and the reduction of poverty. The government first elected in 1997 has increased its commitment to development by strengthening the department and increasing its budget.
The central focus of the Government's policy, set out in the 1997 White Paper on International Development, Eliminating World Poverty: A Challenge for the 21st Century, is a commitment to the internationally agreed target to halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015, together with the associated targets including basic health care provision and universal access to primary education by the same date. The second White Paper on International Development, published in December 2000, reaffirmed this commitment, while focusing specifically on how to manage the process of globalisation to benefit poor people.
DFID seeks to work in partnership with governments which are committed to the international targets, and seeks to work with business, civil society and the research community to this end. We also work with multilateral institutions including the World Bank, United Nations agencies and the European Community.
The bulk of our assistance is concentrated on the poorest countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. We are also contributing to poverty elimination and sustainable development in middle income countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and elsewhere. DFID is also helping the transition countries in central and eastern Europe to try to ensure that the process of change brings benefits to all people and particularly to the poorest.
As well as its headquarters in London and East Kilbride, DFID has offices in many developing countries. In others, DFID works through staff based in British embassies and high commissions.
DFID-Southern Africa is based in Pretoria. It is responsible for DFID's work in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, and for DFID's work on regional issues covering the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
A1 This strategy paper outlines a new approach to DFID-Southern Africa's work. Section B describes DFID-Southern Africa's responsibilities. We aim to support poverty elimination in the five countries of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) - Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. We also support regional approaches to poverty reduction across the wider Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
A2 Section C considers the global and continental factors affecting poverty, and the growing commitment to collective responses by African countries. It proposes a programme of work to address regional dimensions of poverty - covering trade, conflict, water resources, HIV/AIDS, and food security.
A3 Section D looks at poverty within the five SACU countries. The analysis emphasises:
- the significance of the apartheid legacy in entrenching deep poverty and inequality
- the need to focus on jobs, growth and equity as well as improved governance and service delivery
- the extent of the challenge posed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
- analysis of poverty and inequality, and the development of poverty strategies
- promoting growth, jobs and equity
- strengthening democracy, governance and service delivery
- tackling HIV/AIDS.
A6 Lesotho, a low-income country with a per capita GDP of only $580, relies on donors for financial resources, as well as technical assistance. DFID will work with other international donors to support the development and implementation of Lesotho's poverty reduction strategy.
A7 Over the next three years, DFID plans to spend up to =A340 million per year in the five SACU countries, and =A37 million on regional programmes across SADC. In addition to this direct spending, DFID will also spend some =A325 million per year through multilateral programmes in the region, chiefly through the European Union.