Information regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

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Federal Minister for Development Gerd Müller

"Only if we all pull together can we halt the spread of the coronavirus – at home in our own country and throughout the world."

Development Minister Gerd Müller

Halting the spread of the coronavirus – at home and worldwide

The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest global health crisis in decades. We need to slow down and ultimately stop the spread of the coronavirus, both in Germany and worldwide.

The people living in our developing partner countries are facing much the same challenges as we are. However, many countries, in particular in Africa, are ill-equipped to cope with the pandemic because of their weak health care systems. The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that the health systems in African countries will be rapidly overwhelmed if the coronavirus spreads across a wide area.

That is why we are seeking specifically to boost the health system infrastructure in developing countries by assisting with hygiene measures and the training of medical staff, and by providing special training in how to detect the virus and treat those who are infected. These measures are intended to help slow down the spread of the virus, save lives and keep the economic fallout as small as possible in the countries affected by the pandemic.

Deployment of the Rapid Deployment Epidemic Prevention Team (SEEG) in Togo, 2016: Lassa fever diagnostics

Experts to help Africa halt the spread of coronavirus

With its development cooperation support, Germany is helping countries in Africa – and Asia too – to detect people who have been infected and to slow down the spread of the virus.

The support it is providing includes:

  • Assistance provided by the "Rapid Deployment Epidemic Prevention Team";
  • Experts from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany's public health institute, from the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine and from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are currently helping various countries to establish the necessary diagnostics procedures, so that they can detect the virus quickly and reliably;
  • The "Rapid Deployment Epidemic Prevention Team" helped Benin to cope with an outbreak of Lassa fever in 2018. The Team also helped to set up a diagnostics procedure in Central Africa during the Ebola outbreak there.
  • As part of the COVID-19 response, German Epidemic Preparedness Teams have so far been active in Namibia, Benin, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. The teams' activities have focused on building laboratory capacity, providing test kits and lab material, and offering training and technical advice on the COVID-19 response. The Institute of Virology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is currently providing human resource support with regard to the activities of the teams.



Test tube tested negative for Covid-19
Current news

Volunteers participating in the weltwärts programme all back in Germany

All Weltwärts volunteers are safely back in Germany. Almost 3,200 young women and men could be brought back home safely thanks to the great support of the sending organisations of churches and civil society.

The BMZ thanks all those involved for their commitment. The volunteers were socially involved in projects in a total of 58 countries.


Logo of weltwärts – the development volunteers service

BMZ press releases on the coronavirus pandemic

Laboratory analysis of a patient sample: pipette and sample tube

Press release 29.07.2020

German Epidemic Preparedness Team hands over 1.4 million tests to the African Union

Laboratory test at the Charité in Berlin

Press release 23.06.2020

German team of experts assists Peru in COVID-19 crisis

Vaccinating babies against polio in a health station in Abeokuta, Nigeria

Press release 04.06.2020

Gavi conference lays foundation for global immunisation campaign, says Minister Müller

View of Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Press release 07.05.2020

Development Ministry and Volkswagen provide 4,000 additional hospital beds in South Africa

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