Human and Social Development

Development can be sustainable only if economic growth is augmented by human and social development, with special attention to the environment and vulnerable groups such as women and children. In addition, effective primary education is very important in developing countries. It improves children's prospects and opportunities for poor people, strengthening their social, economic, and political resilience.

Knowledge - its development and application - is the engine of social and economic progress and essential for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. With its research policy and international education programmes, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is helping develop and spread knowledge that is relevant to poverty reduction and sustainable development. It is also helping strengthen capacity in higher education and research in countries where the Netherlands has development ties.