Germany to sign Reform Partnership agreement with Ethiopia

German development minister Gerd Müller announced his intention to sign the 'Reform Partnership' later this year with Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian prime minister. The Reform Partnership commits  Ethiopia to efforts towards good governance, democratization, the rule of law, and the fight against corruption. In return, Germany will support Ethiopia financially to develop private sector investment and to fight youth unemployment.

Until now, Germany’s development assistance to Ethiopia has focused on economic development, professional training, agriculture, food security, and the protection of wildlife and resources. In 2018 - 2019, Germany's bilateral overseas development assistance to Ethiopia totaled €216 million (US$244 million).

Press release - Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (in German)

Global Fund releases table showing total pledges by country

At its sixth replenishment conference in Lyon, France, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria raised a record-breaking US$14 billion in commitments from public and private donors, the largest amount of funding ever raised for a multilateral health organization.The Global Fund has since released a table showing the amounts pledged by each attendant.

Pledges at Global Fund Sixth Replenishment Conference - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Germany pledges €1 billion to Global Fund

Germany announced €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) in funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for 2020- 2023 at the France-held sixth pledging conference on October 9- 10, 2019.

Minister Müller added that the long-term success of the Global Fund depends on functional health systems, a well-trained health workforce, and a reliable supply chain of medicines. More funding will be allocated towards the development of the health systems in the future.

Press release - Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (in German)

Germany Global health

German government allocates additional €500 million to development ministry for climate protection

On October 9, 2019, the German government passed a new climate protection law, which includes concrete measures and projects through which Germany intends to reach its climate targets by 2030. The law includes a new climate protection package ('Klimaschutzprogramm'). To finance the package, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will receive an additional €500 million (US$564 million) for 2020, raising the total draft budget of BMZ for 2020 to €10.9 billion (US$12.3 billion).

The additional funding will mainly be used to expand renewable energies in Africa, invest in rain forest protection measures, and support adaptation measures in order to strengthen agriculture in drought regions. In total, Germany will contribute more than €4 billion (US$4.5 billion)to international climate financing in 2020.

The law still needs to be approved by parliament.

Climate Budget 2020 - Federal Ministry of Finance (in German)
Press release - Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (in German)


GIZ and AMEXID publish comparative analysis of 16 international development cooperation agencies

The government development arms of Mexico and Germany (AMECID and GIZ, respectively) have collaborated to publish a comprehensive comparative study of 16 agencies of international development cooperation.

The study presents the nations in three blocks: first, European and North American "traditional" donor countries, then Latin American donor countries, then "emerging" donor countries, in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. The chapters thoroughly examine each agency's role, components, evaluations, and operations.

Comparative Study of 16 International Development Cooperation Agencies (in Spanish)

Germany contributes €200 million to international forest protection program ProGreen

On Monday, September 23, 2019, German Development Minister Gerd Müller and World Bank President David Malpass launched a global forest conservation program, ProGreen, at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

ProGreen, the Global Partnership for Sustainable and Resilient Landscapes, is a multi-donor trust fund hosted by the World Bank that supports countries’ forest conservation programs, with a focus on protecting and rebuilding tropical forest regions, fighting against illegal logging, tackling declining biodiversity, and protecting against deteriorating land fertility and increasing risks such as uncontrolled forest fires. Germany is the first donor government to invest €200 million (US$225 million) for this purpose. The goal is to reach about US$1 billion in funding for this initiative.

In addition to its €200 million (US$225 million) investment, Germany announced it will allocate another €30 million (US$34 million) to the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) and €20 million (US$23 million) to indigenous communities.

Press release – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) (in German)

FAQ - The ProGreen Global Partnership for Sustainable and Resilient Landscapes  – World Bank

Germany Agriculture

Merkel announces German climate protection measures at UN Climate Summit

On September 23, 2019, German Chancellor Angela Merkel presented Germany’s domestic and international climate protection measures at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City. The announcement was preceded by a meeting of the German Climate Cabinet on Friday, September 20, 2019, coinciding with the massive 'Fridays for Future' protests in Germany. The meeting resulted in a number of climate-rescue measures aimed at halving Germany’s carbon emissions by 2030 to avoid defaulting on its 2015 Paris treaty promises.

Merkel presented these national measures, including carbon dioxide pricing via emission certificates, costlier fuels, cheaper rail travel, and a ban on oil heaters, at the UN Climate Summit. The national climate package was heavily criticized by opposition parties, environmentalists, and civil society organizations for being too unambitious. Regarding its international commitment, Merkel announced that Germany will increase its funding for global climate protection from €2 billion (US$2.2 billion) in 2014 to €4 billion (US$4.5 billion) and deposit €1.5 billion (US$1.7 billion) into the Green Climate Fund. Merkel also underlined Germany’s support for climate risk insurances and forest conservation.

Speech - Chancellor Angela Merkel (in German)

News article - Deutsche Welle


German Development Minister launches “Green Button” seal for sustainable textiles

On September 9, 2019, German Development Minister Gerd Müller presented the “Green Button” seal for sustainable textiles, which will be attributed to clothing items produced under certain social and environmental standards. In order to be eligible for the Green Button, companies must comply with a minimum wage requirement for textile workers, forego any child labor in production, and prove that their manufacturing process does not involve certain chemicals and air pollutants.

Minister Müller has been advocating for social responsibility and safety in the textile industry since 2013 when the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing over a thousand people. At the launch of the Green Button initiative, 27 companies have successfully passed the requirements of the textile label; another 26 companies are currently in the review process.

News article – Deutsche Welle

Press release – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development [BMZ] (in German)


German far-right surges to second place in two state elections

On September 1, 2019, elections were held in two German federal states, Saxony and Brandenburg, both located in the former East Germany. In both states, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has become the second-biggest party.

While both the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) have suffered significant losses, the CDU remained the strongest party in Saxony with 32% (followed by the AfD with 28%) and in Brandenburg, the state surrounding Berlin, the SPD remained the strongest force with 26% (while AfD got 24%). Despite holding on in Brandenburg, the SPD fell to a historic low of only 7.7% of the vote in Saxony. In both states, CDU and SPD will now discuss forming new coalitions, potentially with the Greens, as both parties are opposed to forming a coalition with the AfD.

The formation of the two state governments is likely to prove difficult and time-consuming, as both governments no longer have a majority for a continuation of the existing coalitions (SPD and the Left in Brandenburg, and CDU and SPD in Saxony).

News article - Deutsche Welle


Germany increases Global Fund contributions by 18% to US$1.1 billion

During the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Biarritz, France, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Germany’s pledge of €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund) for the replenishment period 2020-2022, an increase of 18% from the previous pledge.

France will host the Global Fund’s sixth replenishment pledging conference in Lyon on October 9-10, 2019. The Conference is aimed at further mobilizing efforts to end the epidemics of AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis by 2030, in line with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Global Fund seeks to raise at least US$14 billion for the upcoming three years (2020-2022) in order to help save sixteen million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023.

Germany is the fourth-largest donor of the Global Fund.

Press release - Global Fund

Press release - BMZ (in German)

Germany Global health