SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being
Fast aid in the pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has shown how closely interconnected the modern world is. Within just a few short weeks, the crisis spread around the world. While the healthcare systems in industrialised countries are reaching their limits and their economies are struggling, the economic and humanitarian consequences are far worse in developing countries. Without healthy populations there can be no sustainable development and no economic progress, as the United Nations formulates in Sustainable Development Goal 3: “To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.
KfW Development Bank is tackling this enormous task in a continuous effort. It is supporting the Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme 2020 of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with up to EUR 5 billion from reallocated funds from ongoing programmes, additional budget funds and our own loan funds for FC development and promotional loans.
The Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme aims to help partner countries fight the pandemic and continue to support the healthcare sector. The aim is to create and expand testing capacity, equip hospitals to deal with the pandemic and protect medical staff. In some cases, entire emergency hospitals are being built. Hygiene and protection kits will also be made available to the public. At the same time, KfW supports small and medium-sized enterprises and finances programmes designed to stabilise the socio-economic situation in developing countries.
Although the coronavirus poses a major health challenge for the world, other medical problems have not disappeared, especially in developing countries: there has been progress in maternal and infant mortality but some 300,000 women still lose their lives each year as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Nearly 18,000 people die every day from poverty-related diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. In addition, many healthcare systems face the dual challenge of communicable and chronic diseases, which are also on the rise in developing countries.
The pandemic reminds us how closely linked the health of people in developed and developing countries is. But it also shows an even broader context: the healthcare sector is closely tied to the other sectors of society. Moreover, the current crisis shows that human, animal and environmental health form a single unit – with a very considerable impact on the goal of sustainable development. The concept, which KfW also incorporates, has gained in importance on the political agenda.
In 2019 KfW – mainly on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – has committed almost EUR 1 billion to projects that help to improve the health of people in partner countries. This commitment will give 69.4 million people access to more or better health services. The current pandemic calls for these efforts to be intensified and more focused. Around 140 individual projects alone are contributing to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. But even when the coronavirus is defeated, the challenges on the road to achieving SDG 3 remain great.