Displaying 1 - 20 of 586

Germany increases contributions to Legacy Landscape Fund by US$108 million

In the lead-up to the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, 2022, development minister Svenja Schulze announced that Germany will commit an additional €100 million (US$108 million) to the Legacy Landscape Fund

The Legacy Landscape Fund was founded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) together with international partners and foundations such as the French Development Agency (AFD) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) one year ago on May 22, 2021. The Legacy Landscape Fund is a financing instrument aimed at nature conservation and the protection of biodiversity in legacy landscapes across low- and middle- income countries.

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

India and Germany strengthen development cooperation with 3 new agreements

During the sixth intergovernmental consultations between India and Germany on May 2, 2022, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, signed three declarations for collaboration in climate, energy, and agriculture.

Building on cooperation for solar technology that has been in place since 2015, India and Germany signed another partnership to build up renewable energies in India. Between 2020 and 2025, €1.0 billion (US$1.1 billion) will be contributed to the partnership.

Additionally, the two countries made an agreement on triangular development cooperation with third countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The collaborations will focus on technical cooperation in climate protection and sustainability.

The third initiative focuses on agroecological agriculture and sustainable resource management. Funding of up to €300 million (US$331 million) will be made available for the initiative by 2025, according to the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In addition, Modi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signed a 'Green and Sustainable Development Partnership', a joint declaration of intent to cooperate on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate action.

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

Joint Statement – 6th German-Indian Inter-Governmental Consultations 

German draft supplementary budget adds US$1.1 billion for development ministry in response to Ukraine war

On April 27, 2022, the German government approved a draft supplementary budget worth €26.3 billion (US$29 billion) that addresses the impacts of the war in Ukraine, which complements the original draft budget for 2022, worth €457.6 billion (US$504.4 billion). The draft supplementary budget includes additional funding amounting to €1.0 billion (US$1.1 billion) for the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), both to support Ukraine directly and to mitigate the consequences of the war for low- and middle-income countries and emerging economies.

According to the Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, roughly half of the US$1.1 billion in additional funding will be used to respond to the global food crisis caused by the current war in Ukraine.

In the upcoming weeks, the parliament will debate both the original budget draft and the draft supplementary budget. A final decision on both budgets is expected in the beginning of June of 2022.

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

News article – Evangelische.de (in German)

German Helmholz Center launches new 'One Health' research institute

On April 26, 2022, a new Helmholz Institute for One Health (HIOH) was inaugurated in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania with participation from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The institute is a branch of the Helmholz Center for Infection Research, which is partly funded by the German government.

HIOH's research will focus on zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and pathogen evolution. Researchers will conduct longitudinal and comprehensive sampling and data collection and analysis related to emerging infections and resistance in two model regions, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Sub- Sarahan-Africa.

Press release – Federal Ministry of Education and Research (in German)

Press release – Helmholz Center for Infection Research

Germany contributes US$11 million to World Food Programme in Lebanon

During her visit to Lebanon, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, announced that Germany will provide €10 million (US$11 million) to the World Food Programme for its support of Lebanon.

Lebanon is among the countries that are most affected by the disruption of wheat supplies from Ukraine and Russia as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine. The World Food Programme is the most important partner to ensure food security and support the build-up of food resilience in Lebanon, said Schulze. The additional €10 million (US$11 million) provided by Germany to the World Food Programme will be channeled to measures that support sustainable food resources and infrastructure and provide relevant training in Lebanon, as well as to national poverty targeting programs. 

The additional contributions to the World Food Programme are dependent upon the ongoing budget discussions in the German Parliament, according to Schulze. The budget is expected to be adopted in early June of 2022.

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

News article – Deutsche Welle (in German)

German development minister calls for global food security alliance

During the World Bank’s Spring Meeting from April 18 - 24, 2022, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, proposed a new alliance for global food security to prevent a global food crisis caused by the Russian war in Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russia are two of the most important wheat exporters and suppliers to the World Food Programme. Following the outbreak of the war, food prices increased sharply and wheat supply plummeted, signaling a looming famine, especially for export-dependent countries in Africa and Asia. According to Schulze, the new alliance should ensure rapid coordination of efforts from government donors, international organizations, the private sector, and foundations, and provide short-term crisis support for the most- affected countries, as well as build up resilient production capacities in these countries over the long term.

Schulze presented her proposal to the group of G7 and advocated for more international support during the Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. Germany holds the G7 presidency this year. Many World Bank Governors, as well as World Bank President David Malpass, the Director of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, and the Indonesian Minister of Finance and representative of the G20 Presidency, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, supported the suggested initiative and announced their engagement.

Chancellor Olaf Schulz announced that Germany will contribute an additional €430 million (US$474 million) to support global food security during the current crisis.

Press release – Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

News article – Euroactive

White House set May 12 for second virtual COVID-19 global summit

The White House has announced that May 12, 2022, will be the date for the second virtual global COVID-19 summit to be hosted by the US, Germany, Belize, Senegal, and Indonesia.

This second gathering of global leaders will focus on ways to address the global efforts needed to end the acute phase of the pandemic and prepare for future threats to global health. The aims of the summit were set forth in a joint statement issued by the cohosts.

For the US, the call for new commitments and solutions comes as extra money for COVID-19, both domestic and global, has stalled in Congress. It is not clear that a new package, even if it is approved by Congress, will contain any funding for the global response. A leading Democratic Senator, Chris Coons, who had been one of the lead negotiators for the COVID-19 supplemental funding package that reached an impasse, called the need for global aid vaccine money "critical" to US national security.  

News report - Devex

Joint statement - White House

News report - The New York Times

Germany commits US$441 million to COVAX at Gavi's 'Break COVID Now' Summit

On April 8, 2022, Germany, together with Ghana, Indonesia, and Senegal, co-costed Gavi’s digital 'Break COVID Now' Summit with the goal of raising US$5.2 billion in funding for COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. Falling US$400 million short of the funding goal, a total of US$4.8 billion was committed during the summit.

This includes funding worth US$1.7 billion from sovereign donors, US$2.1 billion via new innovative financial mechanisms provided by the European Investment Bank and the United States Development Finance Corporation, and US$1.0 billion of funding by multilateral development banks.

Germany pledged US$441 (€400 million) to COVAX, of which US$386 million (€350 million) will go to Gavi and US$55 million (€50 million) to UNICEF. The pledge is part of a broader US$1.2 billion funding package for the ACT-Accelerator, which Germany announced at the beginning of March of 2022, but is still pending cabinet and parliamentary approval.

COVAX will deploy these commitments to strengthen the vaccine logistics in the partner countries, including, for example, improving cooling conditions for vaccine doses and investing in health personnel and equipment. Further, the funding will contribute to establishing a Pandemic Vaccine Pool that stands ready to be activated if new and threatening COVID-19 variants emerge and to supply partner countries with variant-adopted vaccines.

Additional information on all donors at the Summit can be found here

Press release – Gavi 

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

Germany, UN Women, ILO host G7 Care Conference focused on paid and unpaid care work

On April 7, 2022, Germany, UN Women, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) jointly hosted a G7 Care Conference in Berlin. The event provided a platform for global delegates to discuss the important issue of paid and unpaid care work in international development.

The event marked UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous's first official visit to Germany. While in Berlin, Bahous met with German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze, who voiced her commitment to intensifying Germany's focus on gender equality in development cooperation and ensuring women’s full participation in decision-making at all levels. Bahous and Schulze also discussed their shared priorities including gender-sensitive responses to the war in Ukraine and supporting women in Afghanistan.

Press release - UN Women

Tweet - Sima Bahous

Biden postpones second global COVID-19 summit

United States President Biden's second summit on COVID-19 has been postponed again. The meeting, which Germany is co-hosting, was originally scheduled for March and was then pushed to April due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  The administration is also still trying to secure an additional US$5 billion in funding for global COVID-19 vaccine delivery, which has been stalled in Congress. 

Biden held the first summit in September of 2021.  At the time, he pledged that the US would contribute an additional 500 million vaccine doses along with hundreds of millions of dollars to help with immunizations to be implemented through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He also sought commitments from other countries to provide more resources. 

The additional money that the Biden administration has recently requested to help increase vaccination rates in eleven low-income countries in Africa has yet to be approved by Congress. Originally, USAID was asking for US$19 billion to carry out that new program, but even the reduced US$5 billion in additional funding for the global response remains uncertain. 

News report - Politico

Female Foreign Ministers call on Taliban to let girls go to school

Liz Truss, the UK Foreign Minister issued a joint statement along with other 18 other female foreign Ministers from around the world, calling on the Taliban to live up to their commitment and allow girls in Afghanistan to go to secondary school.  

The statement which was co-signed by the Foreign Ministers of Albania, Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Kosovo, Libya, Liechtenstein, Malawi, Mongolia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Tonga, highlighted the Ministers' deep concerns that girls in Afghanistan were denied their right to attend secondary school this spring. The statement urged the Taliban to adhere to international conventions and to stop denying girls their right to education.

Joint Statement – UK government

Cuts to German development budget criticized by all parties

According to the budget draft, adopted by the government on March 16, 2022, the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (BMZ’s) budget is set to stand at €10.8 billion (US$12.2 billion) in 2022, a drop of €1.6 billion (US$1.8 billion, or 13%) compared to 2021 levels. During a parliamentary debate on the BMZ’s budget, this decrease was criticized by members of both the current government and the opposition.

The Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which is part of the government and thus adopted the budget draft, said that the currently planned budget for 2022 will not be sufficient to address the prevailing crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, or the war in Ukraine. Schulze specifically noted that contributions to the World Food Programme, which were halved according to the budget draft, will not be enough to compensate for the war in Ukraine's impact on global food security.

Parliamentarians from the governing parties SPD, The Greens, and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), as well as from the opposition, Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and The Left, criticized the significant decrease in the BMZ’s budget as a flawed prioritization by the government in times of increasing demand for global solidarity. They also pointed to the coalition treaty’s agreement for a one-to-one increase in both, spending on defense (which increases according to the budget draft) and spending on development cooperation.

The budget committee will discuss the budget draft and possibly suggest amendments. The second and third reading in parliament, as well as the finalization and approval of the budget, is expected between the end of May and the beginning of June of 2022. Additionally, the Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner (FDP), announced the submission of a supplementary budget within the next two months, since the current budget draft does not yet take into account the costs of the Russian war in Ukraine.

News article – Deutsche Welle (in German)

Press release – German Parliament (in German)

German government releases 2022 draft budget; ODA remains at 0.7% GNI

On March 16, 2022, the German government adopted the second government draft for the 2022 federal budget, worth €457.6 billion (US$517.2 billion). This marks an increase of 14.6% compared to the first draft by the former government (in place before the federal elections in September of 2021), but a decrease of 20.1% compared to the federal budget in 2021.

The German government plans to invest around €23 billion (US$26 billion) in official development assistance (ODA) and maintain the 0.7% ODA/GNI commitment. Germany will be able to meet the commitment mainly through additional funding for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) to fight COVID-19 globally as well as spending related to the Ukraine crisis.

Despite the commitment to 0.7% ODA/GNI, the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (BMZ’s) budget is set to stand at €10.8 billion (US$12.2 billion), which marks a €1.6 billion (US$1.8 billion, or 13%) drop from 2021 levels. However, in addition to its core budget, BMZ has €784 million (US$886 million) from the budget plan for ‘general financial management' at its disposal, to be used for ACT-A-designated expenditures. Together, BMZ’s spending in 2022 is planned to stand at €11.6 billion (US$13.1 billion).

Last week, a group of eight German NGOs called on the German government not to neglect the fight against poverty and hunger in face of an increased focus on defense, and to spend 0.7% of Germany's GNI on ODA. They welcomed that the 0.7% commitment will be met according to the budget draft, but critized the cuts in the BMZ budget.

The first reading of the budget draft in the German parliament will take place at the end of March of 2022. The second and third reading, as well as the finalization and approval of the budget, is expected to occur between the end of May and the beginning of June of 2022.

Federal Budget 2022, second draft - Federal Ministry of Finance (in German)

News article - Handelsblatt (in German)

News article - Evangelische.de (in German)

Germany to co-host 2022 Gavi COVAX AMC Summit

On March 11, 2022, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance announced that Germany will co-host this year’s Gavi COVAX AMC Summit on April 8, 2022. The summit will aim to raise US$5.2 billion in funding for COVAX, including US$3.8 billion in funding from sovereign and private donors for low-and middle-income countries that receive support from the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

The virtual event, titled '2022 Gavi COVAX AMC Summit: Break COVID Now' will be co-chaired by the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, and Gavi Board Chair, José Manuel Barroso.

On March 1, 2022, Germany announced that it will contribute its fair share of US$1.2 billion to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) in 2022. Of that, €350 million (US$396 million) will go to the Gavi COVAX AMC, which is one of ACT-A’s pillars.

Press release – Gavi

German NGO network calls on government to avoid funding cuts for other humanitarian crises while increasing assistance to Ukraine

VENRO, the German umbrella organization of NGOs focused on development and humanitarian assistance, has called on the German government to urgently increase humanitarian assistance budgets in light of the war in Ukraine, ensuring that additional funding for Ukraine does not come at the expense of budgets for other urgent humanitarian crises.

VENRO also emphasized the need to strike the right balance between spending on long-term crisis prevention, climate change adaptation, and military preparedness. This comes in response to the government's recent announcement to sharply increase Germany's defense budget by setting up a special €100 billion (US$113 billion) fund for Germany's armed forces.

Interview - VENRO

Germany increases humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and neighboring countries while increasing domestic defense budget

Due to the war in Ukraine, the German government increased its contributions to the United Nations’ Ukraine Humanitarian Fund by €5 million (US$6 million) and committed an additional €10 million (US$11 million) to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) sent emergency forces to Ukraine's neighboring countries - Romania, Moldova, Poland, and Slovakia - to identify possible relief measures and to establish contacts with national and international humanitarian organizations. The parliamentary state secretary at the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Niels Annen, traveled to Moldova on March 4, 2022, to discuss potential additional support from Germany to Moldova. Further, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development reshuffled €39 million (US$44 million) from the current ministry's budget for civil protection and provisioning for Ukraine and its neighboring states. The first €5 million (US$ 6 million) of this funding will contribute to equipping fire brigades in Ukraine and its neighboring states.

As a reaction to the ongoing military threat, on February 27, 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a sharp increase in Germany’s defense budget, and implemented a special €100 billion (US$113 billion) fund for Germany’s armed forces.

Parts of the governing coalition, especially the Greens, are skeptical of the special fund since they traditionally advocate for disarmament. Leading politicians of the Greens have emphasized that the €100 billion (US$113 billion) must not be solely used for military equipment, but must also be used to finance soft measures such as development cooperation and humanitarian relief. Scholz reacted to remarks, saying that other budgets are not a risk and that that growth, including in the development budget, is still possible.

Press release – Federal Foreign Office

Press release – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

News article – Deutsche Welle

News article – ntv (in German)

Germany pledges additional US$1.2 billion to ACT-A

After the meeting of the G7 finance ministers on March 1, 2022, the German Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner, announced that Germany will contribute its 'fair share' to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) in 2022, equating to US$ 1.2 billion.

According to Lindner, Germany will also provide also an additional €224 million (US$245 million) for in-country delivery costs to turn vaccines into vaccinations and to support delivery and logistics in low-income countries.

Following a pledge of €1.5 billion (US$1.8 billion) in additional funding to ACT-A in 2021, Germany’s total contribution to ACT-A to date stands at US$2.5 billion, making it the second-largest donor to the initiative.

Press conference - Federal Ministry of Finance

Press release - World Health Organization

Germany commits additional US$24 million to insure vulnerable countries against climate risks

With the recent release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) Sixth Assessment Report, Germany pledged an additional €21 million (US$24 million) to the InsuResilience Global Partnership initiative, which insures low-income and climate-vulnerable countries against climate risks.

The InsuResilience Global Partnership was initiated by Germany, the G20, and the Vulnerable Twenty Group (V20) in 2017 and aims to financially insure 500 million people against climate risks annually by 2025.

Germany has pledged €800 million (US$897) to the InsuResilience Global Partnership total and is the largest donor to the initiative.

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

Germany’s BioNTech to send mobile vaccine production 'BioNTainers' to Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa to ramp up vaccine production

In the lead-up to the African Union (AU) - European Union (EU) Summit on February 17 - 18, 2022, German vaccine developer BioNTech presented its modular mobile production facilities for mRNA vaccines, ‘BioNTainers’, that will be shipped to selected African countries this year. The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) reaffirmed its support for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) mRNA technology transfer hub during the Summit and indicated additional support.

BioNTainers will be shipped to Rwanda, Senegal, and possibly South Africa in the second half of 2022, and production will commence one year after their arrival. Production facilities will supposedly have a production capacity of up to 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines per year, according to BioNTech. The company plans to operate the facilities at the beginning of the project and then pass on knowledge and responsibility to local partners gradually. The German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, welcomed BioNTech’s engagement and emphasized her ministry’s support to African partner countries to create the necessary conditions for successful vaccine production, such as training skilled personnel and building up infrastructure.

During the AU - EU Summit on February 18, 2022, Schulze highlighted BMZ’s ongoing support for the WHO's mRNA technology transfer hub, which announced its first technology recipient countries: Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia. These countries will receive the needed technology and know-how for mRNA vaccine development developed by the WHO mRNA technology transfer hub. According to Schulze, the BMZ is considering expanding its support for the hub beyond the current commitment of €3.0 million (US$3.4 million).

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

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

Press release – World Health Organization

News article – Reuters

Germany to provide up to US$2.8 billion in loans to Indonesia for green infrastructure enhancement by 2025

During a virtual meeting, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze, and representatives of the Indonesian government agreed on enhanced cooperation to support sustainable mobility and waste, water, and wastewater management in Indonesia.

The goal of the cooperation will be to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduce marine pollution, and eventually create a climate-friendly future in livable cities. Germany plans to contribute up to €2.5 billion (US$2.8 billion) by 2025, mainly in the form of loans, to Indonesia.

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