For some days now, India has been registering more than 300,000 new cases of COVID‑19 a day. The healthcare system is under huge pressure: in particular, there is no secure supply of oxygen, which is vital for treating patients. India has therefore asked its partners for help. Germany and its partners are happy to comply with this request. On 1 May the Bundeswehr flew a first transport plane with 120 ventilators from the Federal Health Ministry’s stocks to New Delhi, which is especially badly hit by the pandemic. A mobile oxygen production facility will be flown out this week. Germany will also provide medicines to the value of €45 million via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas emphasised:
We are bound by a deep friendship with India. The COVID-19 pandemic strikes at the heart of India. We support India in its fight against the pandemic. Germany will send urgently needed goods to provide care to the patients.
India is one of Germany’s most important partners in Asia. This year India and Germany are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic relations. Over this time, close relations have developed in the economic, political and civil society fields. India and Germany are linked by shared values and interests. For example, both countries are committed to enhancing multilateral cooperation and to preserving and strengthening the rules-based order. This includes cooperation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nobody is safe until everybody is safe
Germany’s support for India 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.