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 EUR 450 million (around Php 26bn). 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.
The UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan COVID‑19 (COVID‑19 GHRP) provides for a total of EUR 96 million (around Php 5.5bn) for the current year in the Philippines for life‑saving humanitarian assistance. Our partner organisations will use additional financial resources in the Philippines to provide life‑saving humanitarian assistance. In response to the appeal of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for its global COVID-19 activities the German government has provided EUR 40 million (around Php 2.3bn). ICRC plans to utilize EUR 3 million (around Php 173 million) from that funding for its COVID-19 response in the Philippines.
This includes donations of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies and equipment to health facilities, access to health care and clean water, support of COVID-19 management in detention facilities, as well as economic security support for vulnerable populations facing compound effects of COVID-19 and armed conflict. Furthermore, Germany has made a large part (around EUR 1.4 bn) 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.