Federal Ministers Westerwelle and Niebel today (16 July) issued the following statement on the situation in the Horn of Africa:
“We are deeply concerned about the famine and humanitarian disaster in the Horn of Africa. Refugees, women and children are most heavily affected by the continuing drought as well as the conflict in Somalia. The German Government is thus increasing its emergency aid by a further five million euro.
At the same time, we are appealing to the German people to show their willingness to help the people of the Horn of Africa through private donations. Established German aid organizations will ensure that aid money directly benefits those in need.”
The new funds, of which half come from the Federal Foreign Office and half from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, are to go primarily to humanitarian emergency care for refugees, internally displaced persons, women and children in the regions worst affected. The money is being made available to German NGOs and multinational aid organizations with particular strengths in knowledge of the region and mutual coordination and cooperation, as well as to the World Food Programme.
The humanitarian situation in large swathes of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti has further deteriorated in recent weeks. The ongoing drought has caused crops to fail and food prices to rise, triggering severe shortages for many parts of the population. In Somalia the crisis is amplified by the consequences of the civil war, which has among other problems caused a growing number of refugees to flee to neighbouring countries.
In 2011 the Federal Foreign Office has already provided 3.6 million euro in humanitarian aid for the Horn of Africa. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is working towards the long-term improvement of the situation there. Agricultural development is thus a focal area of cooperation with Kenya, for which a total of 138 million euro has been pledged for the period from 2010 to 2013. In 2011, a total of 102 million euro has been pledged to Ethiopia for the period from 2012 to 2014.Here too, sustainable agriculture is an area of focus. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development also works through NGOs in Somalia.