Human Rights Commissioner Amtsberg on World Humanitarian Day

19.08.2023 - Press release

The origins of today’s World Humanitarian Day lie in the bomb attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad 20 years ago.

The fact that aid workers are, time and again, attacked, kidnapped or even killed remains a sad reality today. The number of attacks has increased by almost 70 percent since 2015. Last year, the number of aid workers killed reached a sad high.

Humanitarian aid workers are role models for us all. They provide emergency aid and save lives with great personal dedication in extremely dangerous contexts. Their commitment is an example of international solidarity in action – also in places that are seldom the focus of our public and political attention, as I was able to see for myself in South Sudan and Lebanon, among other countries.

In view of the fact that, according to the latest UN estimates, around 362 million people will continue to be dependent on humanitarian assistance and that the number of crises, disasters and conflicts is rising steadily, Germany must not abandon its pioneering role. Cutting humanitarian assistance is the wrong way to go. We must not forget that humanitarian assistance is an important part of Germany’s diplomatic relations with respect to actually achieving the protection of human rights.

I welcome the fact that the Federal Government intends to further strengthen anticipatory humanitarian assistance and localisation and that it is committed to more effective coordination between the fields of humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.

I would like to offer my sincere thanks and respect to all those who go about this important work on a daily basis. Without their commitment, Germany would not be able to work effectively around the world to protect human rights and mitigate acute crises.


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