Many developing and emerging economy countries are particularly vulnerable in the COVID-19 pandemic. Sanitary conditions are poor in many places, and health systems are mostly underfunded and insufficiently equipped to treat the seriously ill in large numbers. Output restrictions and rising infection rates are hitting companies, small businesses and workers with full force - while governments lack the scope of action to compensate for the losses through government measures. It is to be feared that the poor and poorest countries in particular will be hit hard by the human and economic consequences of the crisis.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has designed an emergency programme to provide assistance in this situation. The EU Commission has also initiated extensive support measures. KfW stands ready to make its contribution to the implementation of these programmes. It is important to provide financial resources quickly and on a large scale: to strengthen the health sector and for food security, but also for the financial sector, for small and medium-sized enterprises, and for the socio-economic stabilisation of states in general.
With its network of offices and partners in around 70 countries KfW is close to the people and the challenges. Our own work - and that of each of our employees - is also affected by the restrictions of everyday life. In our series we report first-hand about the situation on the ground. Thanks to our local presence and our long-standing relationships, however, we are in a position to continue our global commitment with a focus on the crisis. Global solidarity is currently more needed than ever - and KfW does not leave its partners alone.
In this section staff members from KfW's external offices report on the situation in the respective countries. They give an overview of the status of infections and the various measures taken by the governments there. They also provide an assessment of the impact on the affected country and describe their personal experiences.