Algeria has been a partner country of Belgian cooperation since 1972. The largest country of Africa, before DR Congo, is home to a population of 35 million.
Algeria is 104th of the 182 countries listed in the UNDP Human Development Report 2009; since 2000 the country has its own National Poverty Reduction Plan. Belgian cooperation finances a project in Sidi Fredj (near the Algerian-Tunisian border), which reaches 1,300 households (of which 30 to 40% are poor). The project aims at improving social and community services, at management of natural resources and at creating income-generating activities.
Algeria has relatively large water resources, but management remains complex, on the one hand due to intense and diverse usage of water, and on the other hand due to a large pluviometric deficit and high evaporation rates. Belgium helps the Algerian Ministry of Water Resources to develop a new approach to integrated water resource management in the coastal hydrographical basin.
Tamanrasset Wilaya is a very particular region which makes any attempt to implement development programmes and especially health programmes hard. This region, 18 times the surface of Belgium, with more than 10% nomads, is situated in the far south of Algeria and functions as a transit and migration zone for the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa. Traditions and taboos are still omnipresent. The integrated health project of Tamanrasset aims at organising the fight against AIDS, STIs and maternal and infant mortality.
In the field of sustainable development, Belgian cooperation manages a big project near the Moroccan border that aims at rehabilitating and reorganising the solid waste dumps of 18 municipalities of the Mascara region. In the capital Algiers, which is saturated by too many cars, Belgium participates in a project that aims at strengthening public transport by increasing the quality and quantity of services provided by more than 300 buses.
Finally, the strengthening of knowledge of justice department executives and the institutional support to the Algerian Council of State are part of the Algerian justice reform policy, which was started at the end of the 1990s. About 150 executives (magistrates, court clerks, jail officers, administrative executives) have been trained through these two projects.