Human development covers the following themes:
In addition to the resources available under the country or regional aid programmes, the EC also has thematic budget lines, including one for human development called "Investing in People".
Human development is both at the heart of the development process and the ultimate objective of development policy. It is a broad-based concept that covers not only conventional social development in areas such as health and education, but also gender equality, children and youth, employment and cultural diversity. This broad concept is reflected in the definition of the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the International Community during the UN Summit in 2000.
Human and social developments are key strategic elements of - the European Consensus for Development -, which clearly states the importance of investing in people to ensure that development is both viable and sustainable. Human development is one of the 9 intervention areas identified in the Consensus and comprises Education, Health, Culture, Employment and Social Cohesion. The rights of children and indigenous peoples, Gender and HIV/AIDS are cross-cutting issues that must be integrated into all intervention areas using the mainstreaming approach.
Development is about people and, to be effective, development strategies must be people-oriented. Further, development aid must empower people: give them the means and opportunities to grow out of poverty, strengthen the voice of the poor and the vulnerable, and increase choices and opportunities for everyone. All human beings need to feel secure, have food, shelter and access to essential social services, be protected from violence, discrimination and injustice, be healthy and acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive as individuals and citizens.