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Coronavirus pandemic

German Development Ministry presents Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme

"We will either beat the pandemic worldwide or not at all"


23.04.2020 |

COVID-19 has now reached 185 countries – almost the entire world. It is in our own interest to fight the virus worldwide. Otherwise, it will return to us in Germany and Europe in waves.

Germany is doing an outstanding job in the health sector and in supporting the economy. But unlike Germany and Europe, developing countries have hardly any laboratories, emergency care beds or ventilators. Mali only has four ventilators for 18 million people.

And most people in developing countries are unable to rely on any social or economic stabilisation instruments. Millions of people have already lost their jobs – without any social protection to fall back on - because global supply chains are breaking down, for instance in the textile sector. Hundreds of millions of children cannot go to school and are not receiving any school meals – which have often been their only meal per day. Food supplies are at risk in general because transport routes are breaking down. Entire harvests may be lost. The locust crisis in East Africa is increasing, as there are currently hardly any options to fight it. An additional 130 million people are threatened by hunger as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

This means that the pandemic is becoming a global health, food and economic crisis – including in Europe's immediate neighbourhood. We need to prevent a situation in which hospitals break down first and then entire countries. The consequences would be dramatic – hunger, unrest and ultimately uncontrollable refugee movements.

In this global crisis our actions must be based on solidarity – within Germany, within Europe, but also worldwide. So our perspective must go beyond Germany and Europe.

The German Development Ministry is now funding a global Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme worth more than a billion euros from its own budget. To that end, we are redirecting funding within our budget to the following seven priorities:

  1. Health and pandemic control (200 million euros)
  2. Food security and basic food services to prevent famines (200 million euros)
  3. Stabilisation of fragile regions affected by displacement (150 million euros)
  4. Social protection and securing jobs in global supply chains (180 million euros)
  5. Additional economic support for enterprises in key industries such as textiles and tourism (115 million euros)
  6. Government liquidity (150 million euros)
  7. International cooperation (155 million euros)

This alone will not be enough to address the global crisis. Together with aid organisations, we have identified immediate requirements amounting to three billion euros needed within this year for emergency response measures to provide basic support, especially with a view to stabilising regions affected by displacement. This top-up programme will need to be financed through additional funding from the supplementary budget and can be implemented immediately in our partner countries.

It must be expected that the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to require our attention for a long time to come. The EU and the international community have to show their solidarity with the poorest. The German Development Ministry will also further increase its international cooperation efforts in the field of pandemic control and prevention, helping, among other things, to make WHO a world pandemic centre.

Only together will we be able to contain the rampant global pandemic.

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