Minister of State Böhmer opened the Annual Meeting of the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) in the Weltsaal of the Federal Foreign Office on 3 March.
“The number and intensity of armed conflicts and humanitarian crises is rising dramatically the world over”, said Minister of State Böhmer in her speech to representatives of UN organisations such as UNHCR, OCHA, WFP, UNICEF, NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, think tanks and many others. “These include the Ukraine crisis, the Gaza conflict, the armed confrontations in Syria, the Ebola epidemic, the situation in northern Iraq and the advance of the ISIS terrorist organisation. Every crisis brings untold suffering to those affected, who often also lose their homes.”
Efforts to help people in need
Minister of State Böhmer took this opportunity to thank the members of the network for their tireless efforts to help people in need. She stated that the humanitarian challenges were becoming ever more dynamic and complex. Due to the host of challenges, she continued, it was crucial to make the international humanitarian system more effective and fit for the future.
In order to keep pace with this development, the Federal Foreign Office is establishing a separate directorate‑general for crisis prevention, stabilisation and post‑conflict peacebuilding: "Our aim is to pool all of the capabilities which allow us to deal more intensively with the entire spectrum of crises, not only acute conflict phases", stated Böhmer. In talks with representatives of the United Nations, the German Red Cross, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief and NGOs in mid‑January, the Minister of State was briefed on the situation of people in Iraq and the relief measures needed. In addition to the necessity for emergency aid to be provided quickly, another key aspect of the exchange was the development of medium-term relief structures.
In May 2016, a World Humanitarian Summit is to take place for the first time. It will examine the main challenges facing the international community in the sphere of humanitarian assistance and discuss ways of tackling them. Minister of State Böhmer said:
The ALNAP Annual Meeting in Berlin should send a message today ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit that the international humanitarian system is being further strengthened and will help to considerably alleviate the plight of people caught up in crises and conflicts.