On 18 March, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos visited the Federal Foreign Office where she met with Minister of State Maria Böhmer and the Federal Government’s Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, Christoph Strässer. The talks focused on the humanitarian emergencies in Syria and its neighbouring countries, in South Sudan and in the Central African Republic.
The conflicts in the regions cited above have created great humanitarian challenges – it is estimated that this year, 6.2 billion euros will be needed for around 19 million people in need. Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) and Head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), thanked the Federal Government for the emergency assistance it has provided to Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. So far in 2014, Germany has pledged some 37 million euros in general as well as an additional 50 million euros specifically for the Syria crisis.
Preparations for the World Humanitarian Summit under way
A further topic of discussion was the further development of the international system for providing humanitarian assistance. Amos informed Minister of State Böhmer and Commissioner for Human Rights Policy Strässer about the state of the preparations for the
World Humanitarian Summit 2016 in Istanbul. The Federal Government is helping to prepare the event and will host a preparatory conference in Berlin next year.
Growing need for humanitarian assistance
During her visit to the Federal Foreign Office the Emergency Relief Coordinator also spoke about the ever growing need for humanitarian assistance. The number of natural catastrophes has doubled within the last 20 years; violent crises and conflicts have caused the global need for humanitarian aid to triple from 2006 to 2014, to approximately 11 billion euros. Commenting on this, Ms Amos stressed Germany’s crucial role and responsibility as one of the most important humanitarian donors in the world. The country’s efforts made it possible to continue to provide people affected with rapid assistance geared to their needs.