Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (21 March):
“I am deeply concerned by the plight of 15 million people in the Sahel region. The food crisis plaguing the region since the end of last year has since January been aggravated by armed clashes in northern Mali. Some 190,000 people have fled their homes.
In February, the German Government made available 12 million euro for humanitarian assistance. And today the Government has decided to send a fact-finding mission to the region. This is another important step towards combating famine in the areas affected.
The people need all the help they can get. I therefore direct this appeal to all my fellow Germans. Please give what you can to help the people of the Sahel!”
The German Government’s Sahel Task Force met for a special session today (21 March), chaired by the Federal Foreign Office.
The Federal Foreign Office is to send a fact-finding mission to the region very soon to review the assistance being provided and to clarify what precise help is still required. As well as reviewing the need for further outside assistance, the mission will also look at the efforts undertaken by national agencies in the region and will examine the effectiveness of international coordination.
In addition to providing humanitarian assistance, the EU and the German Government are working to help stabilize the Sahel region through the EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel.