About the GHPP

Germany addresses health protection globally by leveraging its competencies and abilities at the international level.

Germany is committed to Global Health Protection

The Global Health Protection Programme (GHPP) was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) in 2016 as a strategic component of Germany’s international cooperation. It enhances and contributes the expertise and competencies of specialised German public health institutions at the international level. The programme promotes networking, exchange, and collaboration between German and international actors in the field of public health and thus strengthens global health protection.

Taking Global Responsibility

The international health crises of the past decades vividly demonstrate that in a globalised world, infectious disease spreads across national borders at a rapid pace and poses a massive threat to the health of the national and global population. The COVID-19 pandemic has further illustrated this, by making the enormous health, social and economic damage caused by these crises visible worldwide. Health protection and health security are, therefore, international challenges that require cross-border solutions and close collaboration among the international community.

Moreover, health crises caused by (emerging) infectious diseases, and the growing number of antimicrobial resistances underline the interconnections between human, animal, and environmental health. There is consequently a need for interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approaches, such as One Health, to effectively address and prevent the relevant factors contributing to the emergence of epidemics and pandemics.

In support of this, Germany actively engages in global health policy in a variety of ways. The GHPP complements the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) measures in development cooperation, the humanitarian assistance of the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and research promotion by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Key Facts

Participating German Institutes: BfArM, BNITM, DZK, FLI, FZB, PEI, RKI

Duration of the current Funding Phase: 2023-2025

Regions: Africa, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Central Asia and Caucasus, Global

Funding Area: Health

Subject Areas: Global health protection, epidemic and pandemic prevention, health system strengthening


Aim of the GHPP

The programme’s aim is to strengthen health systems at national, regional, and international level in order to support partner countries worldwide, in particular with regard to the prevention and management of epidemics and pandemics. The partnerships and projects support the protection of public health and thus make an important contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations – in particular Goal 3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages“.


The internationalisation and networking of specialised German public health institutions with their partners worldwide is a central element of the GHPP. Since 2016, the GHPP has been promoting the establishment of long-term partnerships and the exchange of knowledge across national borders.

  1. 2014

    • Initial considerations within the BMG on how the authorities within its remit as well as the institutes of the Leibniz Association can contribute their expertise in the Global South.
  2. 2015

    • In response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the heads of government jointly decide at the G7 summit in Schloss Elmau to step up their commitment to strengthening healthcare systems worldwide.
    • The German Epidemic Preparedness Team (SEEG) is established as a joint initiative of the BMZ and BMG.
  3. 2016

    • The first funding phase of the GHPP starts with initially 12 projects from BfArM, the BNITM, the PEI, RKI.
  4. 2017

    • Germany continues to emphasise international health policy during its G20 presidency.
    • The German Bundestag anchors the international orientation of the RKI – the largest recipient of funding from the GHPP – in the Infection Protection Act (IfSG).
  5. 2019

    • The number of funded projects in the GHPP increases to 24.
    • The FLI and the FZB are included as recipient institutions.
  6. 2020

    • The number of GHPP projects increases to 35.
    • The DZK is added as a recipient institution.
  7. 2021

    • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GHPP’s Corona Global funding track is established. Under this funding track, the BMG approved an additional 17 projects to support the fight against the pandemic.
  8. 2022

    • In the context of the German G7 Presidency, the Pact for Pandemic Readiness is concluded to strengthen global preparedness and response to pandemics. The GHPP projects make an immediate contribution to the implementation of these agreements.
  9. 2023

    • The second funding phase of the GHPP starts with around 40 new projects.

Thematic Focus

Strengthening global health protection is a multifaceted challenge that requires activities at various levels. Germany’s priorities in this regard are outlined in the Federal Government’s Strategy on Global Health. Within the framework of the GHPP, projects are funded in 10 thematic areas, which also reflect the core competencies of the German institutions participating in the GHPP:

Regional Priorities and Levels of Cooperation

GHPP projects work within bilateral partnerships with countries in the following priority regions:

  • Africa

  • Eastern and Southeastern Europe

  • Central Asia and Caucasus

The projects also enhance cooperation at regional and global levels. This is achieved, in particular, through cooperation with:

  • Regional, international, and multilateral organisations such as the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Health Emergency Response Authority (HERA), the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • Initiatives, networks, and platforms such as the German Epidemic Preparedness Team (SEEG), the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Networks (GOARN), the Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network (EDPLN), the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, the Global Laboratories Alliance for the Diagnosis of High Threat Pathogens (GLAD-HP), and Epidemic Intelligence from Open Sources (EIOS)
  • Multiple countries in a region through South-South cooperation

Guiding Principles

The design of the GHPP at programme and project level is guided by six guiding principles:

  • Core Competency Orientation

    The projects and their activities enable the eligible German public health institutions to leverage their specific core competencies in in order to strengthen public health systems both in the partner countries and regions, as well as globally.
  • Needs and Target Group Orientation

    GHPP projects are geared towards the needs of partner countries and regions, as well as the specific needs of the target group(s) relevant in the project context. They are impact-oriented, creating maximum added value while avoiding the duplication of activities.

  • Applied Research

    The focus of research activities lies in applied research and implementation research, which provide evidence for health policy making. The projects involve relevant local, national and international health policy decision-makers in the projects and inform these about their findings.

  • Development and Strengthening of Partner Systems

    The projects tie in with the established structures of local public health systems, thereby enhancing the sustainability of their activities through long-term competency and capacity building. Synergies are utilised to amplify the impact of the activities.

  • Long-term Partnership Collaboration

    Collaboration within the projects is participatory, respectful, and based on trust. The aim is to sustain and expand partnerships beyond the funding period. 
  • Sustainability and overarching Issues

    GHPP projects operate sustainably in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They consider the specific needs of socially disadvantaged and marginalised population groups and work in a gender-sensitive manner. Possible reciprocal influences of projects on crises and conflicts, climate and environment, as well as human rights are taken into account.

Funding Logic

 Seven selected and specialised German institutions and organisations in the field of public health protection, together with their international partners, can jointly apply for funding for their projects. Thus, the GHPP is a non-public funding program with a select group of expert institutions that contribute their technical expertise to international projects. The responsibility for the implementation of funded projects lies with the recipient institutions.

The partners of the eligible institutions include a variety of institutions, organisations, and initiatives at the national, regional, and international level. All actors involved in the GHPP can be found in the partner directory.

The German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) as the commissioning and financing ministry is responsible for the political steering of the GHPP. BMG is further supported by a steering committee composed of members from the eligible institutions in the design of the programme. The GHPP secretary, located within the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), consults and supports the BMG in the management of the programme.

Funding Phases

Funding phase I: The first funding phase of the programme started in 2016, with a total of 39 projects funded with durations ranging from 2 to 7 years. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a special one-time funding was initiated in 2020, under which 17 additional COVID-19-specific projects were supported.

Funding phase II: The second funding phase of the GHPP began in January 2023. Around 40 projects are being funded, which can be assigned to three different project types:

  • Strategic projects aim to establish and expand longer-term partnerships for strengthening public health systems and institutions in the partner countries (duration: 3 years).
  • One-Year projects complement strategic projects and serve to respond to ad-hoc needs and to implement innovations (duration: 1 year).
  • Initiation projects aim to establish new partnerships and serve as the precursor to potential strategic projects (duration: 1 year).

In the second funding phase, the programmes thematic and regional focus will be further refined, taking into account new developments and priorities in the field of global health after the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be increased support for projects that contribute to the systemic strengthening of public health systems in the programme’s priority regions.

In addition, the GHPP supports deployments of the German Epidemic Preparedness Team (SEEG) through the German institutions involved in order to enable rapid response to new outbreaks by leveraging the expertise available in Germany.

You can find information on all funded projects of the GHPP here


The German Epidemic Preparedness Team (SEEG) was initiated by the German Federal Government in 2015 to enable rapid response to new outbreaks worldwide. Its aim is to deploy experts on short notice to the affected areas in order to detect outbreaks as early as possible and prevent them from spreading. The SEEG operates on behalf of the BMZ, the BMG and since 2021 also the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). More information about the SEEG can be found here.