Due to the Corona pandemic, many KAAD network events have been cancelled both in Germany and worldwide. Many of us have been affected and still bear the impact of national “lockdowns” or “confinements”. What this means for the societies of countries in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia is much less covered in the international media than it is the case with Western European countries and the USA. But it is not only in the countries with huge numbers of infected and dead people that the economy and society are massively impaired. We want to find out from scholars and alumni from different countries and regions of the world in which way this global crisis influences your everyday life, your society and your economy.

The Alumni of the KAAD partner country Uganda came up with the idea and started a “Call for Contributions”. The chairlady of KASEA Uganda then received contributions which we have first published here on the KAAD webpage. Further scholarship holders and alumni from other countries also followed this call; their contributions can also be found here.

“Where are we when we don’t have problems? A COVID 19 call to build stronger relationships.
By Dr. Catherine Promise Biira, KASEA Uganda

“COVID 19 containment measures have exposed the veracity of our international alliances, the efficacy of our domestic social security systems and our capabilities for self –reliance. Initially, around the globe, states responded to the pandemic with a knee jerk nationalistic ‘every state for itself’ approach but soon realized that transnational linkages could not just be cut off like a baby’s umbilical cord. (…)”  Read more

COVID 19: Lessons for International Development Cooperation
By: John Kasiita Ssemulema – KASEA Uganda

“The role played by international development cooperation through the various international, bilateral and Non-Governmental Organizations in promoting global diplomacy, trade, health, technology and skills transfer cannot be overemphasized. I am working as Technical Advisor-Climate Changefor the German Development Cooperation (giz). As the world grapples with the devastating impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic, it would be hard to imagine a full recovery of many economies without the intervention of development cooperation agencies. (…)” Read more

Further contributions from Africa (Tanzania and Uganda)

“With 90 countries in lockdown, four billion people are now sheltering at home from the global contagion of COVID-19. It’s a protective measure, but it brings another deadly danger. We see a shadow pandemic growing, of violence against women and girls. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing untold human suffering and is likely to heighten gender-based inequalities around the world. (…)”  Read more

“The reality of COVID-19 to African students living away from home has given a common nostalgic feeling of a desire for a strong sense of community, questioning the role of our embassies and if such an African diaspora community exists or if it does, where is it? (…)”  Read more

“The COVID-19 virus first appeared in the Hubei province of China in December 2019, and by then the realities of it almost looked far off for most of us. Despite its late arrival, the virus rapidly spread across Africa, the news of which were have been received with mixed feelings and perceptions. (…)”  Read more

I still remember the time when the pandemic hit Europe and Germany in particular. My parents called me almost every day to find out if I was all right. During this time, I started to follow the news from my home country Tanzania closely. The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in March 2020. Only a few days afterwards, the Prime Minister announced a series of measures, including the closure of schools. In the course of time, the number of people infected increased rapidly. The detailed figure was published on 29th April: 480 cases and 21 deaths. (…)” Read more

Further contributions from Latin America (Brazil and Colombia)

“I live in Fortaleza, the capital of the state of Ceará. The city is a corona hotspot with already 120.00 infected people and more than 6.000 deaths.
At the beginning of 2020, we were still following reports and discussions about the corona crisis with a certain distance. Most Brazilians thought that corona would be just another epidemic among many others and nobody would have made a fuss of just a few deaths. Yet early on, reasonable politicians and experts warned against the great danger which would be heading for us. (…)” Read more

“In the midst of the crisis caused by COVID-19 and the state of emergency declared by the government, the consequences of years of violence of the armed conflict are clearly felt. Living in constant conflict with each other, letting our thoughts be determined by intimidation and the construction of enemy images, all this has become normal over the years. Now we are confronted with an “enemy” called “COVID-19” which threatens not only our health but also social dynamics. (…)” Read more

Further contributions from Eastern Europe (Georgia)

“Strictly speaking, it did not officially start until March, yet, things were changing far earlier. In Georgia, we were still going to work in February as usual. Even though there was already some information about the new “virus”, nobody believed it to be a real threat. However, some people were walking through the city wearing a face mask already in February – some criticised them, others followed their example. In this way, our city became a city of face masks – the ‘face mask city’. (…)”  Read more

Furter contributions from the Middle East (Palestine)

“Since the beginning of the year, we had been preparing for corona cases in the Caritas Baby Hospital. The first cases in adults were finally discovered in Bethlehem in early March. We were very concerned as Italy was already mourning a high number of deaths at that time – the fear of the virus increased. (…)”  Read more