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.

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 many countries. 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.


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BMZ press releases on the coronavirus pandemic

World Health Summ

Press release 27.10.2020

World Health Summit: Minister Müller announces creation of a new One Health priority area at the BMZ

Lettering on the wall of the main World Bank building in Washington saying "World Bank".

Press release 16.10.2020

COVID-19 crisis | World Bank Annual Meeting: Minister Müller backs debt relief proposal

Villagers from Ankirikiriky in southern Madagascar are replanting deforested land in return for food rations from the World Food Programme.

Press release 07.10.2020

World Bank poverty report | Minister Müller says: "COVID-19 is stopping progress made in the fight against poverty and hunger, pushing 115 million more people into extreme poverty"

Vaccination of young children at the Kibati Goma health centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Press release 30.09.2020

Minister Gerd Müller welcomes COVAX commitment, says we must not leave developing countries to fend for themselves in the fight against COVID-19

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