There are currently almost 170 million people around the world dependent on humanitarian assistance. Particularly in poorer and fragile countries, the COVID‑19 pandemic has triggered a further increase in the already very high level of humanitarian needs. This poses a threat particularly to refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants. Their risk of infection is higher. In cramped living conditions (for example, in refugee camps), it is impossible to practice effective social distancing and there is a lack of access to sanitary facilities, healthcare and testing. The situation is further exacerbated by exposure to other diseases (malaria, dengue fever, cholera, etc.) as well as undernourishment and malnutrition, affecting children in particular. The situation is especially dramatic where violent conflict has destroyed healthcare infrastructure. Providing humanitarian support is not just a moral imperative but also crucial: helping those least protected from the virus is an important contribution to combating the pandemic worldwide.
As one of the world’s largest humanitarian donors, Germany is shouldering its responsibility and supporting the international humanitarian system – the UN agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs – in their efforts to contain the pandemic and tackle the humanitarian impact with additional funding to the tune of 265 million Euro. Here, Germany is granting its partner organisations the highest possible degree of flexibility when it comes to using this additional funding – for example as far as the regional distribution is concerned – so that the funding can be used quickly and in line with needs.
Furthermore, Germany has made a large part (ca. 1.4 billion euro) of its regular funding for 2020 available to its partner organisations early in the year (“frontloading”) – and thus increased the organisations’ planning security and flexibility.
The COVID‑19 pandemic is a global threat which can only be averted by working together. Germany is responding and lending support where it is most needed, also in the form of comprehensive humanitarian assistance.