Recycling for Development

Since the mid-1970s, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has offered financial support to Danish associations wishing to ship used equipment from Denmark to partner organisations in the South. Since 1990, this support has been covered by the ‘MFA pooled fund for reconditioning and shipment of used equipment’ budget line, colloquially termed ‘Recycling for development’ (RfD). The RfD pooled fund is managed by Danish Mission Council Development Department (DMCDD) based on an annual appropriation on the Danish government budget bill approved by parliament.

Small, but significant

The RfD pooled fund only makes up a tiny proportion of overall Danish support for development cooperation, yet it still has a particular role to play. Experience has demonstrated that the fund appeals to smaller Danish associations wishing to engage in a specific and immediate effort to benefit local organisations in the global South. Such local civil society organisations who often experience that few options for external support are available. In the North as well as in the South RfD related efforts are often engaging a high proportion of volunteers. The RfD fund may also be relevant for organisations with more established development engagements in which such equipment can offer a useful contribution to overall efforts.


In spite of good intentions, associations with an interest in the RfD fund must realise that the task also involves obligations. Many years of experience with shipping used equipment has testified that shipments cannot stand on their own: they need to form part of a wider collaboration between the Danish association and the South partner.  A number of organisations have also had to realise that quite a good deal of paperwork is required, e.g. in order to make sure that the shipment can be imported duty free into the respective developing country. Coordinating logistics in relation to the shipment may also be time-consuming. 

Here you can find more information regarding the RfD fund.