Alongside Europe, the COVID‑19 pandemic has hit Latin America and the Caribbean harder than any other part of the world. The region has recorded around 23.6 million infections and more than 740,000 deaths so far. Brazil in particular has been severely affected in recent weeks. More than 12 million people in the country have already been infected with COVID‑19, and over 300,000 have died from or with the disease.
Help for Manaus
The Amazonian city of Manaus became one of the hotspots of the pandemic in recent weeks. The high number of COVID‑19 patients has put the healthcare system under significant strain. To assist in caring for these patients, the Federal Government is sending 80 ventilators to Manaus – non-invasive devices which do not use supplementary oxygen. They are part of the Federal Ministry of Health’s reserves and are being transported by the Bundeswehr. Manaus contacted the Federal Government to request the ventilators.
Nobody is safe until everybody is safe: The global fight against the pandemic
This gesture is part of the Federal Government strategy “An effective international response by Germany to COVID‑19”. The strategy was published in June 2020 in recognition of the global dimension of the crisis. The Federal Foreign Office is coordinating the response to requests from other countries and international organisations as part of an inter-ministerial working group. The pandemic can only be beaten when it is brought under control around the world. Alongside bilateral support for partners in the form of medical material and protective equipment, the Federal Government is putting its weight behind the multilateral Access to COVID‑19 Tools Accelerator (ACT‑Accelerator), initiated by the WHO and the EU, and its vaccine arm COVAX. This initiative is the key to ensuring fair global access to COVID‑19 medication, vaccines and diagnostic tools. Germany is therefore supporting the ACT‑Accelerator with a contribution of 2.1 billion euro. Brazil is also taking part in COVAX and received an initial delivery of one million vaccine doses on 21 March.
Solidarity in times of crisis: Support for Latin America
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Federal Government has been supporting Latin American countries in their fight against COVID‑19 via a number of different channels. One priority is improved knowledge-sharing. A pandemic dialogue initiative is strengthening links between experts in order to make efforts to fight the pandemic more efficient. Health experts have also been sent to the region. Within multilateral fora such as the G20 and the IMF, Germany is working to advance measures which will alleviate the fiscal and economic impact of the crisis. Its foreign missions in the region are offering help where it is most urgently needed. This includes providing COVID‑19 test kits, funding health centres and distributing food donations and disinfectant.