The development cooperation policy is a key vector of Portuguese foreign policy. It builds on a broad national consensus between major political forces and civil society, with a view to eradicating poverty and ensuring the sustainable development of partner countries, within a context of respect for human rights, democracy and upholding of the Rule of Law.

Cooperation should be understood as an investment, rather than as an expenditure, as development rather than aid, which complements and strengthens other aspects of foreign policy, including economic diplomacy and external cultural action, with mutual benefits.


The Camões – Cooperation and Language Institute is responsible for – in close coordination with the principles and directives of national foreign policy – coordinating and supervising development cooperation activities and ensure the representation and participation of the Portuguese State in activities developed by international organisations aiming at cooperation and public aid for development.

Camões, I.P. promotes, finances, co-finances and also implements dozens of programs and projects in several partner countries, mainly Portuguese-speaking countries and Timor-Leste, in several areas. These interventions stem from the priorities and added value brought about by Portuguese Cooperation, responding to the strategies defined by the partners.

According to international best practices, the identification and formulation of projects ensures that the projects being supported are relevant and consistent with the partner's policies and with the issues being addressed and that the intervention outlined will be feasible, beneficial and effectively managed.

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