press release

Human Rights Commissioner Strässer on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day


On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day Christoph Strässer, Member of the German Bundestag and Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (19 August):

More than 60 million people around the world are currently in need of help to survive. In financial terms, this year’s global need for humanitarian assistance has reached a new high of roughly 13 billion euros. These are alarming figures. They should also draw our attention to the many donors of humanitarian aid, the humanitarian relief organisations and, above all, the thousands of humanitarian aid workers who try to alleviate the suffering of people in need. The challenges involved in their missions are constantly growing, as can be seen from the current developments in Iraq, the Gaza Strip, Ukraine, Syria and the surrounding region, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the countries affected by the Ebola epidemic and the many so-called forgotten crises show. I am spending today’s World Humanitarian Day in northern Iraq to gain an insight into the dramatic humanitarian situation, Germany’s assistance and the efforts of aid workers on the ground. People involved in humanitarian assistance, especially aid workers, are facing ever growing danger to life and limb. Today we are paying particular tribute to the humanitarian aid workers who have been killed, some of them just recently in South Sudan. Compassion and solidarity are inherent to each and everyone of us. Let us promote and spread these values!

For more information, click here: www.worldhumanitarianday.org

Background information:

On World Humanitarian Day (19 August) the principles of international humanitarian assistance are the focus of attention, and the aid workers who have died in the line of duty around the world are remembered. During the last few years, the number of people in humanitarian need worldwide has further increased. Within the German Government, the Federal Foreign Office is responsible for humanitarian aid, which it provides swiftly, flexibly and without unnecessary bureaucracy. To this end, it funds appropriate relief projects run by UN humanitarian organisations, German humanitarian NGOs and the organisations of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. These projects enable the people affected to live in dignity and security and ease the suffering of those who are in dire need and do not have the means to help themselves.

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