Areas of action

Political dialogue: Cooperation and coordination among the various actors

Blood samples that will be transported by horse back for testing from Semenanyane health clinic, in Eastern Lesotho.

Germany’s entire de­vel­op­ment policy is based on long-term co­op­er­a­tion between partners on a basis of equality. The goal of intergovernmental dialogue is always to find a solution to fighting AIDS that is tailored to the situ­a­tion in each partner coun­try.

The BMZ is pushing for stronger strategic co­op­er­a­tion between national and inter­national actors and for greater donor coordination.

To achieve this, on the one hand German experience of programmes against HIV is made available to the in­ter­national com­mu­ni­ty. One example is the German Health Practice Collection, which makes successful health projects supported by German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion available to the general public.

On the other hand, lessons learned in in­ter­national co­op­er­a­tion and the standards set are integrated into German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion.

Against this background, co­op­er­a­tion with a number of in­ter­national orga­ni­sa­tions, civil society and the private sector acquires a strategically im­por­tant role. Combining public and private funding and services helps to efficiently shape HIV prevention measures and the treatment of those who are HIV-positive or suffering from AIDS in line with demand. That way the already scarce resources can be optimally employed.

The BMZ brings its experience to bear at in­ter­national level in the context of strategy discussions in various organisations involved in containing the spread of HIV. It cooperates closely, for example, with UNAIDS, the WHO, the In­ter­national Labour Orga­ni­sa­tion (ILO) and its programmes on de­vel­op­ing and implementing HIV measures in the world of work (ILOAIDS), as well as with the World Bank and regional de­vel­op­ment banks.

The European Union, with Germany as its largest financial contributor, has significantly increased its commitment to fight HIV in recent years and is now one of the largest donors worldwide. The Programme for Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis is its main mechanism in that regard. The primary objective is to improve access to health care and overcome the shortage of health care professionals.

Another pillar of the programme is promoting research into and the de­vel­op­ment of new instruments for containing HIV, malaria and tuberculosis at national, regional and global level. To that end the European Union launched the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Logo Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Copyright: GFATMGermany was one of the initiators of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), which took up its work in early 2002 and is now the world’s most im­por­tant funding instrument when it comes to con­tain­ing these three infectious diseases. In the period to 2013 the German gov­ern­ment had already made some 1.5 billion euros available to the Fund. It also made a key contribution to overcoming the crisis of management and confidence that had engulfed the GFATM in recent years and launched a new contract awards model and better risk management.

Germany also supports the GFATM’s work through the BACKUP initiative, which is an innovative model of multilateral and bilateral technical co­op­er­a­tion: The Initiative supports governmental and civil society actors in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in correctly applying for and successfully using funding provided by the GFATM.

Since 2002, the BACKUP Initiative has supported more than 500 measures by partner organisations in 75 coun­tries, with special emphasis on three cross-cutting issues: strengthening civil society, gender equality and strengthening health systems.


The Debt2Health initiative was introduced at the replenish­ment conference of the GFATM held in Berlin in 2007: Under the initiative a country’s debts are cancelled on condition that a pre­determined share of those debts are used to fund local health programmes run by the Fund. As a result, indebted coun­tries are relieved of their debt burden and additional local funding is made available for use in the health sector.

Germany is pioneering this innovative funding model. Agreements have already been signed with Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan and Côte d’Ivoire. As a result, a considerable amount of funding has already been mobilised to benefit health measures in these coun­tries. In Egypt, for instance, the debts Germany cancelled were put to good use in an Ethiopian health programme – an example of success­ful South-South-North co­op­er­a­tion.

Private sector

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) between German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion and private companies have proved highly effective in many areas of de­vel­op­ment policy, including containing the HIV epidemic. Many companies in Africa have recognised the importance of introducing workplace programmes to combat HIV as part of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to their staff and staff’s families. By doing so they also avoid productivity losses and the rising costs of health care, new recruitment and retraining. As a result of this type of action, the private sector has become an im­por­tant partner in the fight against AIDS.

Civil society

Orphans and other needy children come to Nanga Vhutshilo Positive Living in Soweto twice a day for meals. Copyright: Kristy Siegfried/PlusNewsCo­op­er­a­tion with non-state actors is im­por­tant if there is to be universal access to prevention, treatment and care for all sectors of the popu­la­tion in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. Civil society organisations often enjoy a better level of public accep­tance than state institutions. In­ter­national, German and local non-governmental organisations contribute substantially to the prevention of HIV infections and to the treatment, care and support of people living with HIV. The BMZ will there­fore continue to cooperate closely with non-governmental organisations in partner coun­tries and in Germany.

BMZ glossary

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