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Message from the chair of the supervisory board

Portrait photo: Jochen Flasbarth.
Jochen Flasbarth, Chair of the GIZ Supervisory Board, State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry
for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) (© BPA / Steffen Kugler)

‘The environmental transition to climate neutrality will only be possible if it is coupled with the pledge to forge ahead with development.’

Jochen Flasbarth, Chair of the GIZ Supervisory Board, State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Dear readers,

This report is published at a challenging time for all of us. Putin’s unlawful war of aggression against Ukraine is a watershed for Europe’s peace-based order. It brings untold suffering for all Ukrainians and has triggered the largest movement of displaced people seen in Europe since the Second World War. The consequences can be felt far beyond the boundaries of our continent: the dramatic impact of the war on global food security is just one example.

Parallel to this, Afghanistan is in the grip of a humanitarian disaster on an almost unimaginable scale, one which requires our firm resolve to tackle. More than ever before, the international community finds itself confronted with multiple crises that we must address together on the basis of our shared values.

The COVID-19 pandemic is just one of these crises. Especially for the poorest countries in the world, the worst health crisis for decades has become a polypandemic. The health impacts of the pandemic, but equally its economic and social consequences, are negating many of the important development achievements of recent decades.

The poorest countries are also hardest hit by the consequences of climate change. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement guide the actions of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In future, we will continue to meet the requirements inherent in these frameworks with regard to the financial resources underpinning our development cooperation as well as the effectiveness and transparency of our activities.

In view of the global challenges we face, we must continue to enhance the way in which multilateral and bilateral approaches interact if we want to maximise results. BMZ is committed to ensuring robust, well-coordinated development cooperation at both the European and international level, always seeing our worldwide partners as equals. After all, equity, solidarity and respect are the fundamental pillars on which our cooperation is built.

Our vision guides our actions

The last year has demonstrated that we need vision if we are to effectively address today’s problems. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme allowed us to provide swift and effective assistance. Now we need to end the acute pandemic, stem its socio-economic consequences, and always ensure that our actions are inclusive and sustainable. Vaccination rates and supplies of essential goods and equipment, including oxygen and medicines, must be stepped up further.

Another focus is to rapidly improve absorption capacities in our partner countries and develop worldwide vaccine manufacturing capabilities. Alongside preventive health care, which is vitally important, this will help us to establish resilient health systems that are accessible to all citizens, as well as reduce maternal and child mortality.

Just transition – making environmental transformation equitable

Equally, the single most important challenge of the 21st century – the environmental and social transition to a climate-neutral and sustainable way of life and way of doing business (also known as the ‘just transition’) – will only be possible if it is coupled with the pledge to forge ahead with development for billions of people.

Important elements of this transition include decent work, the promotion of sunrise industries, access to systems of social protection, and the ability of people to take charge of their own lives and destinies. To achieve this, financing and capacity development must be closely aligned. Our climate partnership with South Africa is just one example of the way we intend to work with the Global South to shape this transition. Within the scope of our G7 Presidency and beyond, we aim to enter into more climate and development partnerships.

Shared values and shared achievements

Germany has a special responsibility in the field of international cooperation. As the world’s second-largest donor of official development assistance, we are instrumental in shaping global development. Our actions are guided by our democratic and liberal values, with human rights taking pride of place.

Rigorous advancement of gender equality can make a key contribution to achieving justice and preventing crises around the world. This is where BMZ’s feminist development policy comes in, fostering equal political, economic and social participation for all people, irrespective of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other factors that are taken as grounds for discrimination.

BMZ has been working for global justice and sustainable development for more than 60 years. Over this entire period, GIZ and its predecessors have always provided competent and reliable support.

In 2021, GIZ’s work in numerous fragile contexts, made even more challenging by the pandemic, again provided ample evidence of its performance, its flexibility and its ability to implement effective projects. My warmest thanks go to all GIZ staff inside and outside Germany. With their expertise and dedication, they are working on the vital issues of our times that will shape our global future, and are achieving remarkable things in the process.


Best regards,

Signature: Jochen Flasbarth.

Chair of the GIZ Supervisory Board
State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Information on the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be found on this page:

Graphic: GIZ: SDG 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

Information on the following sustainability standards can be found on this page:
GRI standard 2-11; The Code 5