All weltwärts North-South volunteers to return home

Return to Germany necessary due to coronavirus

With the situation surrounding the global spread of the coronavirus constantly becoming worse, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has decided, in consultation with the Federal Foreign Office, that all volunteers posted abroad must return to Germany.

Even though most of the countries of assignment have not yet seen a spread of the virus on the same scale as in Germany, there is no reason to assume that the situation there will develop much differently to that in Europe. Some countries may not yet be affected by restrictions but that could change very quickly. Severe restrictions have already been placed on international mobility over the past few days. The weltwärts implementing organisations will therefore take swift steps to bring all German volunteers back.

The BMZ’s decision is based on the anticipated deterioration in the healthcare, safety and supply situation in many countries of assignment.


Where authorities have put mobility restrictions in place, volunteers are currently unable to return. This also applies to countries that have cancelled flights to Germany. If it is currently not possible for volunteers to return safely, they should stay in their country of assignment until a safe return is possible. Safety is more important than speed. Those volunteers who stay for these reasons are encouraged to keep their data in the ELEFAND list up to date - especially their contact details and place of residence - so that the German Embassy can contact them.

To the ELEFAND list

Information regarding the South-North volunteer service

International weltwärts volunteers currently doing voluntary service in Germany who wish to end their assignment are free to do so. Volunteers and host organisations in Germany are requested to find solutions by mutual agreement with regard to a continuation or termination of the assignment. Whether or not volunteers can return home depends on the flights currently available. Again, safety is more important than speed.

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