Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, commits additional funds to WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE)

Germany commits an additional three million euros in support of the World Health Organization’s fight against Ebola. Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, pledged this at a meeting of WHO representatives in Goma (Congo). These additional funds will replenish WHO’s Contingency Fund (Contingency Fund for Emergencies, CFE), which was set up in 2015 in the wake of the first major Ebola crisis. With the 33.6 million euros it has donated since the Fund’s creation, the Federal Government is its biggest single contributor to date. In 2018 and 2019 alone, the Federal Ministry of Health and the German Foreign Office have made a total of 20.3 million euros available so far (Federal Ministry of Health: 15.8 million euros, Federal Foreign Office: 4.5 million euros).

The global community has learned its lessons from the first Ebola outbreak. At the time, a flexible contingency fund was set up. It provides WHO with the financial means to mount a rapid response to epidemics – an approach that is in Germany’s very own interests since epidemics such as Ebola know no borders. Germany is highly conscious of this responsibility and it is why we are contributing a further three million euros from our budget to WHO.

Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn

Before this meeting, Spahn had signed a declaration of intent together with the Rwandan Minister of Health, Diane Gashumba, in Kigali (Ruanda) to strengthen cooperation in combating highly pathogenic diseases. Specifically, in the coming months, a total of 600 health professionals are to be trained by staff of the Robert Koch Institute to teach helpers in crisis regions (train-the-trainer approach). In addition, Germany finances and organises the construction and expansion of isolation wards in five district hospitals in high-risk Ebola areas. The total volume of the measures is approximately 650,000 euros.

“Our experts from the Robert Koch Institute are making an important contribution to combating Ebola. They are training trainers for crisis intervention locally on the ground. And they are helping to build the necessary infrastructure. The fight against Ebola requires expert knowledge and experience. It is here that Germany can be of service”, said Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn.

The support mission in Rwanda is part of the Federal Ministry of Health’s Global Health Protection Program (GHPP). Since 2016, the Ministry has been using the GHPP to support predominantly African countries in building epidemic prevention capacities and combating disease outbreaks locally. The programme is also being backed by the Robert Koch Institute, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute and the Borstel Research Centre (Leibniz Lung Centre). The programme volume in 2019 is approximately 9.5 million euros.

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