Federal Government’s Global Health Strategy

The importance of Global Health has grown markedly in recent years, both in Germany and internationally. Thanks to the high-profile assumption of increasing international responsibility, Germany has come to hold a globally acknowledged leadership role in this field. 

Against this background - as agreed in the coalition agreement - the Federal Government's new Strategy on Global Health was developed under the motto "Responsibility - Innovation - Partnership: Shaping Global Health Together", which was adopted by the Cabinet on 7 October 2020. The aim is to update the priorities of German commitment and to foster coordination and cooperation among all actors. The strategy replaced the 2013 concept ‘Shaping Global Health - Taking Joint Action – Embracing Responsibility’  with which the Federal Government first defined Germany’s contribution to this policy field.

The strategy addresses new challenges in the global health landscape: New obligations such as the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, the challenges posed by the rise in antimicrobial resistance or the emergence of cross-border infectious diseases such as the Ebola crisis or the coronavirus pandemic. These developments have shifted the focus towards health policy topics – which applies especially to issues that have a global dimension and cannot be resolved by any one nation acting alone.

The heightened attention to Global Health became apparent internationally by, inter alia, the first ever meeting of G20 health ministers held during Germany’s G20 Presidency in 2017 and by the setting up of a subcommittee on global health in the German Bundestag. 

The strategy development process under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health officially started on 6 June 2018 with a public kick-off meeting. Designed as a consultative process, the development of the new strategy also provided for the involvement of non-state actors in an effort to enable a constructive and multi-perspective exchange. This is the only way to turn this German expertise into real value and together make a significant contribution to achieving the right to health for all across the world.

The exchange with institutions from civil society, economy, academia, youth and think tanks that are active in global health plays a major role in the consultation process. Taking a leaf from the G20 stakeholder groups, coordinators were appointed to coordinate the various groups of actors. These coordinators have submitted position papers:

  • on behalf of civil society; the Working Group on Health of the umbrella organisation of development and humanitarian aid non-governmental organisations “Verband Entwicklungspolitik und Humanitäre Hilfe deutscher Nichtregierungsorganisationen e.V.” (VENRO)
  • on behalf of the youth: the federal representation of medical students in Germany (Bundesvertretung der Medizinstudierenden in Deutschland e.V. bvmd)  (Link to the youth’s position paper)

The position papers of the non-state actors were submitted to the Federal Government in the context of an event on 5 September 2018. They serve as input for the further discussion of strategic priorities and goals.