Reliable and forward-looking: GIZ is providing effective support in its response to the coronavirus crisis

Business volume rises to EUR 3.1 billion in 2019

Berlin, 2 July 2020. International cooperation is pivotal to managing the current crisis and its impacts in less developed countries. This was the clear message given today by Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Management Board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, at the federal enterprise’s annual press conference. ‘The coronavirus pandemic shows that we are intrinsically linked at a global level,’ said Gönner, adding that the pandemic is impacting all areas of life: health, the economy, political participation, food and drinking water supplies and the sustainable use of resources. ‘The crisis is hitting developing countries the hardest,’ explained Gönner. Development cooperation is therefore becoming more and more important, she said. ‘The aim is to stabilise these countries and thus make them more resilient to future crises. This involves not only supporting health systems, but also, and above all, providing long-term effective, structural support to the economic and social systems in our partner countries.’ 

With its national and international staff, GIZ continues to operate in around 120 countries worldwide. During the acute phase of measures aimed at containing the pandemic, GIZ was able to provide direct and targeted support. In consultation with commissioning parties and partners on the ground, the company has so far earmarked total funding of EUR 110 million for emergency COVID-19 support measures this year, some of which it has already redirected. GIZ also sees the potential to allocate a further sum of around EUR 130 million by the end of the year. A priority area for GIZ’s work is sub-Saharan Africa. Here, it has currently reallocated around EUR 23 million to the health sector and to fighting the pandemic. One way in which these funds are being used is to train medical personnel, nursing staff and laboratory workers, and to use digital systems to help track the spread of the virus. GIZ is also providing support on the ground to supply locally-produced protective clothing and other materials such as thermometers, soap and handwashing stations for hospitals, laboratories and treatment centres, and to launch information and awareness-raising campaigns for the population.

These measures are part of the Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme drawn up by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Martin Jäger, Chair of the GIZ Supervisory Board and State Secretary at BMZ: ‘We will either beat COVID-19 worldwide or not at all. Supporting the poorest countries in their fight against the pandemic is therefore in our own interest as well. In this endeavour, we have a strong implementing organisation in GIZ, with its extensive experience in crisis situations.

Besides assisting in the current crisis, GIZ is also looking to the future, stressed Gönner: ‘Our core task is to stabilise in the medium and long-term those countries that have already been severely impacted economically by the pandemic. Food and nutrition security, health, economic development and employment promotion and climate change mitigation – this all influences how well equipped people are to deal with a crisis such as this one. We need to start thinking about tomorrow today.’ Managing the coronavirus crisis also provides an opportunity to shape the subsequent development of society and the economy after the coronavirus crisis in a way that protects the climate and conserves natural resources, and thus contributes towards sustainability

Review of 2019

Against the backdrop of growing global fragility, international cooperation has become increasingly important in recent years. GIZ’s business volume increased by 43 per cent between 2015 and 2019, with EUR 3.1 billion recorded last year. The company`s work in 2019 focused on three key topics: climate and energy, displacement and migration, and security and stabilisation.

Creating stability means creating prospects: to this end, people not only need access to properly functioning state services, to food and health care, education and employment, but also require a stable legal system and political participation. In these areas, in particular, GIZ accomplished a great deal last year. In sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, GIZ worked with its commissioning parties and partners to support 109,000 people in finding employment and to improve access to political participation for 1.5 million people. The company has contributed to alleviating hunger and malnutrition for 4.8 million people. Around 50 million people also benefited from improved health care and medical services. 

GIZ’s commissioning parties are the German Government, the European Union (EU), governments of other countries worldwide, international institutions, foundations and companies. BMZ continued to be GIZ’s main commissioning party: at around EUR 2.6 billion, income received from business with BMZ remained consistently high. This includes cofinancing contributions, the funding provided by third parties to scale up existing projects, worth EUR 384 million. In recent years, GIZ has seen a sharp rise in cofinancing contributions in the entire public-benefit business area, rising from EUR 246 million in 2015 to EUR 436 million last year, an increase of 77 per cent. In 2019, the EU was the second-largest donor, with around EUR 375 million, with cofinancing contributions and direct commissions taken together.

GIZ increasingly acquires funding through ideas competitions, in which it competes with other public and public-benefit institutions. Since 2014, the share of income generated in this way has increased by 15 percentage points to 47 per cent, with EUR 1.377 billion recorded in 2019. ‘We are delighted to have generated almost half of our income from competitive tenders and achieved success with our services,’ explained Gönner. BMZ’s special initiatives, with which the ministry sets development priorities, play a key role here. 

The growing demand for GIZ’s services is also reflected in its workforce figures. At the end of 2019, GIZ employed a total workforce of 22,199 (a yearon-year increase of seven per cent) from 153 countries. Around 70 per cent of this workforce are national staff in the countries of assignment.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. We are also engaged in international education activities around the globe. Through our work we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions. 

You can find the Integrated Company Report 2019, which contains these figures and information and more, at https://berichterstattung.giz.de

You can find the press kit at https://www.giz.de/en/press/5937.html