ODA Spending

How much ODA does Germany allocate to global health?

Germany was the second-largest OECD DAC donor to global health in absolute terms in 2022, but only 15th among DAC donors in terms of its prioritization of global health.

How is German global health ODA changing?

Germany’s ODA to health shrunk by 6.1% in absolute terms from 2021 to 2022, due to Germany’s reduced financial commitment to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How does Germany allocate global health ODA?

Bilateral Spending

Germany channeled 79%, or US$2.7 billion, of its health ODA bilaterally in 2022, including 41% as earmarked funding through multilaterals. This is below the DAC average of 66% bilateral spending, including earmarked funding through multilaterals

More than half of bilateral health ODA focused on COVID-19 response and infectious disease control in 2022. Smaller shares went to health policy and administrative management, basic nutrition, and reproductive health care. Funding for these areas increased in 2022 compared to 2021.

Multilateral Spending and Commitments

Germany channeled 22% of its health ODA to multilaterals, which is below the DAC average of 34%. The largest recipients in 2022 were the Global Fund, the funding for the EC development budget, and Gavi, which are all priority multilaterals for the BMZ. Germany has a seat on the Global Fund Board and is a member of the Board’s Strategy Committee. Germany also hosted Gavi’s replenishment conference in 2015 and co-hosted its COVAX AMC Summit in 2022.

Germany is supportive of the WHO and was the second-largest sovereign donor after the US during the 2022-2023 biennium. Germany has been the chair of WHO’s Working Group on Sustainable Funding and led a reform to strengthen WHO’s financial capacities, in particular by increasing member states’ unearmarked core contributions to the WHO.

During the second Global COVID-19 Summit on May 12, 2022, co-hosted the by the US, Belize, Germany, Indonesia, and Senegal, Germany contributed EUR50 million ( US$53 million) for the establishment of a new global health security and pandemic preparedness fund housed at the World Bank. Another contribution to the Pandemic Fund totaling EUR69 million ( US$73 million) was jointly announced by the BMZ and BMG in September 2022. The BMZ made another financial commitment in 2023 of EUR50 million ( US$53 million).

More recent pledges to multilateral organizations include:

Funding and Policy Outlook

What is the current government's outlook on global health ODA?

According to the BMZ’s Agenda 2030 thematic model, ‘health, social security, and population policy’ is one of six core themes, meaning that the topic should transcend legislative periods. In reaction to the COVID-19 crisis, the BMZ has also established a new subdivision titled Global Health: pandemic prevention, One Health.

Marking global health as a priority sector: The German government identified health as a priority sector in its 2021-2025 Coalition Agreement. The document prioritized strengthening global health architecture under the One Health approach, health R&D, especially in biotechnology, PRNDs, and WASH. Some of these issues are also included in the BMZ’s priority topic ‘Global health and physical self-determination’, which is one of four priorities.

Leveraging G7 and G20 presidencies to sharpen leadership in global health: Under former Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany came forward as a leader in global health after 2015. Germany prioritized global health during both its previous G7 and G20 presidencies in 2017 and 2022, respectively. Under the German G20 presidency in 2017, the health ministers of G20 countries met for the first time to discuss global health issues such as pandemic preparedness, health system strengthening, and AMR. Research on AMR and pandemic preparedness was also among Germany’s key priorities for its G7 Presidency in 2022.

Advancing SDG #3: In April 2018, the former Chancellor Angela Merkel, together with her Ghanaian and Norwegian counterparts, suggested that the WHO should convene global health actors to develop a Global Action Plan with interim milestones toward reaching SDG 3: Healthy Lives and Well-being for All, by 2030. That same year, Germany was the first country to establish a formal parliamentary sub-committee on global health. At the beginning of 2019, the Global Health Hub Germany was launched to strengthen the link between national research institutions and domestic mechanisms to enhance the country’s capacity and expertise in global health matters.

New global health strategy: In October 2020, the German Federal Cabinet adopted a new cross-ministerial global health strategy for 2020-2030, entitled Responsibility – Innovation – Partnership: Shaping global health together to serve as the basis for Germany’s engagement in global health in accord with SDG #3. The strategy outlines five strategic priorities in global health:

  • Promoting health and preventing diseases;
  • Mitigating the health effects of climate change;
  • Health systems strengthening and UHC;
  • Strengthening the global health architecture for epidemic and pandemic preparedness; and
  • Advancing research and innovation for global health.

A progress report of this strategy is expected by the government by summer 2025 to adjust the priorities of Germany's commitment to global health in light.

Launching a Global Hub for Pandemics and Epidemics: In September 2021, WHO and the German government launched a new Global Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence based in Berlin to strengthen cooperation between countries and scientific institutions worldwide to enhance global capacity for pandemics and epidemic forecasting. Germany contributed US$100 million in initial investment to the Hub and allocated EUR30 million (US$32 million) in 2023 and 2024 respecteively.

One Health approach: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BMZ established a new sub-division focusing on pandemic prevention and response and One Health. In 2021, the BMZ also published its first One Health strategy, anchoring the climate-health-environment nexus in German development cooperation. The strategy gives special attention to the prevention and containment of infectious diseases, including NTDs and zoonotic infections, and the role of the WHO.

Key Bodies

*Global health R&D is also important to address many of the global health challenges that disproportionately affect the world’s most disadvantaged people. For more information on how donor countries are supporting global health R&D across three main areas — 1) EIDs; 2) PRNDs; and 3) SRH — read the excellent G-Finder reports

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