Global health: Strengthening health care worldwide

Project description

Title: Sector Initiative Global Health
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: global
Overall term: 2020 to 2023


Health is a human right, but even today a large part of the world’s population is unable to take advantage of this right. Millions of people are exposed to poverty-related infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and polio. In many places, access to important vaccines and medicines is difficult. 

Underfinanced and fragmented health systems make it difficult to provide comprehensive health care. However, digitalisation offers great potential for improving access to health services, but a lack of regulation, standardisation and control is still causing major efficiency losses in many places.

COVID-19 is exacerbating the existing challenges: key health services are suffering and there is an increasing shortage of qualified workers. Routine examinations and the treatment of other illnesses are being delayed. This has long-term implications for overall global health.


Germany contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – especially Sustainable Development Goal 3: (Good Health and Well-being). 


The project advises the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on health policy issues, thereby helping position Germany in international networks and organisations. It also sends experts to the European Commission (International Partnerships, INTPA) and the KfW Development Bank. The project works on the following topics: 

Advice on funds 
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are key partners of Germany. BMZ is engaging with their management bodies with the aid of the project. 

The project provides advice on the global coordination mechanism to accelerate the development, production and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and medicines (Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, ACT-A) – and in particular on the COVAX Facility which acts as a vaccine platform. The aim is to focus on equitable access to vaccination, tests and treatments, as well as the development of local production facilities.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
The project provides advice on how to strengthen and fund health systems, UHC, health economics and qualified workers. The focus is on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, polio and other infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, as well as non-communicable diseases. It supports Germany’s positioning in international organisations (WHO, UNAIDS, G7, G20). Its advice is informed by its experience of cooperation with other countries.

Health data and digital health 
Digital technologies are crucial to achieving and measuring the goals of the 2030 Agenda on health. The efficient, systematic use of data and digital technologies is therefore just as important as promoting digital skills in partner countries

The project supports BMZ in matters of data and digital health, observing and editing data on trends and global debate. It provides technical support for the drafting and implementation of policy frameworks. 

Knowledge management 
The German Government has extensive experience of the health systems of numerous partner countries and this knowledge informs its international political discourse and further cooperation with other countries
BMZ publishes its acquired knowledge on its web portal Healthy DEvelopments. This platform promotes learning from knowledge gained through health and social protection projects.

Two women provide information on sexual health.

Last update: May 2021

Additional information