Four-yearly report on humanitarian assistance: Germany is one of the biggest contributors worldwide

German Red Cross – distribution of food aid packages in Qoub Elias, Lebanon.

German Red Cross – distribution of food aid packages in Qoub Elias, Lebanon., © Rouven Brunner/DRK

08.11.2018 - Article

Germany has stepped up its humanitarian assistance considerably in recent years. The report sheds light on priorities and focus regions and provides background Information.

On 7 November, the Federal Cabinet adopted the Federal Government’s report on German humanitarian assistance abroad for the 2014 2017 period.

Around the world, increasing numbers of people are affected by humanitarian emergencies and crises and therefore require humanitarian assistance. Germany has been working for many years to alleviate the suffering of these people with its humanitarian assistance.

Bärbel Kofler, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, emphasised the importance of Germany’s efforts:

Germany is living up to its responsibility to help people in need around the world. This is reflected by the report on our humanitarian assistance over the past few years, which was adopted today. Germany has quadrupled its humanitarian assistance since 2014 and was the world’s second largest donor in 2017, having contributed around 1.7 billion euros in that year.

How is German humanitarian assistance helping those affected?

Distributing care packages for babies and infants in Irbid, Jordan
Distributing care packages for babies and infants in Irbid, Jordan© René Schulthoff/DRK

In recent years, the Federal Government has supported humanitarian assistance programmes for people in Syria and its neighbouring countries as well as in Iraq and Yemen. Complex and protracted humanitarian crises in Africa were a further focus of its efforts. These include emergencies in the Horn of Africa, South Sudan, the Sahel region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Germany set aside a total of around 3.97 billion euros for humanitarian assistance measures from 2014 to 2017.

In the affected regions, German humanitarian assistance supports, in particular, people who have been displaced and helps to safeguard health care as well as access to sufficient food. Humanitarian mine action is a further focus.

Making the global humanitarian system more efficient and effective

Germany’s efforts go beyond providing financial help. The Federal Government is doing its part in continuing to develop the international humanitarian system by, for example, concluding agreements at summits such as the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, liaising with other countries in steering committees of international organisations, and developing financing mechanisms such as the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). 

50 Years of Humanitarian Aid

Anticipatory humanitarian assistance, an area that is becoming increasingly important and in which Germany has assumed a leading role, is an important part of this. Germany is developing measures to help people prior to the onset of crises and natural disasters together with partners that include the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, thereby preventing and alleviating suffering. This is a more effective and cost-efficient approach .


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