Partnership for development

Development policy is the best peace policy

German Development Minister Gerd Müller and Bill Gates expand their cooperation

Federal Minister Gerd Müller and Bill Gates at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Munich

Press release of 17.02.2017 |

MUNICH – German Development Minister Gerd Müller and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, together want to work towards adding a new dimension to development cooperation. To that end, they signed an agreement that will lend fresh impetus to the achievement of the goals contained in the 2030 Agenda.

In particular, they want to foster economic development in developing countries, giving more people access to a bank account and to credit so that they can build a livelihood. This focus, financial inclusion, is also a priority topic on the agenda of the forthcoming G20 meetings in Germany in mid-2017.

Moreover, the BMZ and the Gates Foundation will expand their programmes in the areas of food security and rural development, health, and water and sanitation.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller said, "There will only be a peaceful world in the future if we give new priority to development policy. That is why we presented our cornerstones for a Marshall Plan with Africa, proposing new avenues and instruments for pursuing a completely new dimension of development policy, because development is the best peace policy. To that end, we need our partners more than ever. Through their committed work and their investments, our partners are already propelling development in the areas of child health, reduction of hunger and malnutrition, and schooling, education and training. Bill and Melinda Gates are doing outstanding work in these fields and are strong partners for us. Together, we can make a great difference."

Bill Gates said, "Germany is one of the most important partners for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I am grateful to the Germans for their international leadership. They show the world that investment in global health and development is not just charity but one of the most important tasks for governments if we are to build a safer and better future for our children. Thus, I am very pleased that the German government and the Gates Foundation together reaffirmed through their Memorandum of Understanding that they will continue to work closely to address the world's biggest problems. It is not by accident that Africa and global health are important topics on the agenda of this year's Munich Security Conference. We need even stronger international cooperation in order to meet the challenges of our time."

The partnership between the Foundation and the BMZ provides many openings for synergies with the cornerstones for a Marshall Plan with Africa presented by Minister Müller last month.

In order to continue to support rural development, agriculture and food security, the BMZ and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are partnering with others to finance the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). This fund can make a decisive contribution to youth employment in rural areas in Africa – a topic which the BMZ is planning to take forward as part of Germany's G20 Presidency this year.

Thanks to the two sides' collaboration with local partners on the African Cashew initiative, for example, more than 400,000 smallholders in five African countries have been able to increase their incomes and competitiveness.

The BMZ and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are also working together in the field of global health policy, especially on financing mechanisms such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The Global Fund has a remarkable record. Since 2002, it has saved at least 20 million lives and provided HIV medication for eight million people. 16.6 million people have been diagnosed with tuberculosis and received treatment, 713 million bednets have been distributed to fight malaria, and 146 million new infections with malaria have been prevented.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, saves children's lives through immunisation. It has already saved as many as eight million children from deadly diseases. Gavi currently has programmes in 54 countries. They are funded both by public donors and by foundations, companies and private donors. Partner countries have to cover part of the costs involved. At the same time, they receive support for strengthening their health systems.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all UN member countries at a United Nations summit in September 2015. In the Agenda, the international community has expressed its conviction that global challenges can only be resolved through joint action. The Agenda has laid the basis for harmonising global economic progress with social justice and with the limits of what our planet's environment can take.

Memorandum of Understanding between the BMZ and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (PDF 226 KB)

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