SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being
World virus crisis: KfW at the side of its partners
Even before Corona, the United Nations had the goal “to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, as stated in Sustainable Development Goal 3. And the fact that there can be no sustainable development and economic progress without health was as true then as it is today. As a result of the world virus crisis, this truth has reached a new dimension never thought possible. It has been shown once again: without good health, everything is worth nothing. While even in the industrialised countries thousands of people are dying, health systems are reaching their limits and the economy is stumbling, experts believe that economic and humanitarian collapse is looming in the developing countries.
KfW, which is already helping at home to cushion the economic consequences of the pandemic, is also supporting its partners in Asia, Latin America and Africa through its activites bundled at KfW Development Bank. On behalf of the German Government it is setting up a corona emergency programme to provide rapid assistance. The aim is to help these countries to combat the pandemic and to continue supporting their health sectors. In West and East Africa, assistance is to be provided, for example, to procure more tests and expand laboratory capacities. At the same time, because of the expected economic consequences, there will also be increased support for the financial sector and small and medium-sized enterprises as well as programmes for the socio-economic stabilisation of developing countries.
World Health Day, which is celebrated on 7 April, is dedicated to nurses and midwives this year. Two professions that are now even more challenged, and also at risk. The corona virus presents the world with the greatest health challenge since the Spanish influenza 100 years ago. But the other medical problems have not disappeared as a result, especially in developing countries: There have been advances in maternal and infant mortality, but around 300,000 women still lose their lives each year in the context of pregnancy and childbirth.
Almost 18,000 people die every day from poverty diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
In 2019 KfW has therefore committed almost EUR 1 billion to projects - mainly on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) - that will make a contribution to the health of people in partner countries. Thanks to this commitment 69.4 million people will gain access to more or better health services. The current pandemic calls for these efforts to be intensified and focused. But even when the corona virus is defeated, the challenges on the way to achieving SDG 3 will remain enormous.