Under the Biosecurity Programme of the Federal Foreign Office and the Enable & Enhance Initiative of the Federal Government, the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology currently carries out projects in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tunisia and the countries of the G5 Sahel region.
In 2002, the G7 initiative entitled “Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction” was launched at the G7 Summit in Kananaskis, Canada. It makes an important contribution towards the reduction of nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological proliferation risks in the world. Improving biosecurity, in particular, has in recent years been identified as one priority of this initiative. In 2013, the Foreign Office launched the “German Partnership Programme for Excellence in Biological and Health Security” for an initial period of three years. It is designed to mitigate biological security hazards and to establish and improve necessary biosecurity capacities all over the world. After being evaluated in 2016, it was extended until 2019 as the German Biosecurity Programme.
Bacteria, viruses and biological toxins may be used for peaceful but also for terrorist purposes (dual use) by both governmental and non-governmental groups. The objectives of the German Biosecurity Programme are thus, in particular, to reduce the risk of biothreat agent dissemination (biosafety/biosecurity), to set up systems for the early identification of unusual disease outbreaks (surveillance) and to discover and characterise dangerous pathogens. In addition, the programme is to raise awareness of biological hazards in partner nations and strengthen the specialist expertise of national partner institutions (capacity development).
In cooperation with the German Association for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH – GIZ), the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology is currently conducting the following international projects in the context of the German Biosecurity Programme:
» Establishment of a Southwest Asian Network for Biosecurity and the Diagnosis of Dangerous Infectious Diseases in the Caucasus Region (Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia: since 2013)
» Establishment of a German-Kazakh Network for the Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases caused by Potential Biological Agents (Kazakhstan: since 2013)
» Biosecurity Initiative for Zoonosis Risk Management near the External EU Border (Ukraine: since 2016)
» Establishment of a German-Tanzanian Network for the Diagnosis and Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases caused by Potential Biological Agents (Tanzania: 2013-2016)
» Franco-German Biosecurity Initiative for Mali: Mobile Diagnostics for Assistance in the Event of Dangerous Infectious Disease Outbreaks (Mali: 2014-2016)
The Enable and Enhance Initiative of the Federal Government launched in 2011 is meant to strengthen security structures abroad and help prevent emerging crises. Partner states are to be enabled to respond more effectively to crises. This is based on our belief that local actors are more likely to resolve local conflicts in the long term. Reliable institutions in the partner states that can take over responsibility for security and thus contribute to long-term stabilisation are to be identified and strengthened.
The Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, together with the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ), is currently involved in two projects as part of the Enable and Enhance Initiative:
» Biological Security in the Sahel: Establishment of an Alliance for the Protection from Biological Hazards in the Sahel Region (Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad: since 2017)
» Biological Situations: Security Cooperation for Biological Threats in Tunisia (since 2016)