Today (15 November) the Humanitarian Aid Coordinating Committee convened at the Federal Foreign Office for its 100th session. The Federal Foreign Office’s Strategy for Humanitarian Aid Abroad was also unveiled.
Speaking at the meeting, Foreign Minister Westerwelle commented as follows:
Germany’s humanitarian aid is intended to provide prompt and flexible assistance wherever it is needed. Its objective is to ease the suffering of those affected and enable them to live through adverse situations in dignity and safety.
Humanitarian aid is practical solidarity with people in need. Germany is committed to the humanitarian principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence.
We are harnessing our efforts because we want to become still better at meeting modern humanitarian standards.
The Strategy is a policy document that for the first time sets out the parameters of Germany’s humanitarian aid abroad.
These are: a commitment to humanitarian principles; prompt and flexible humanitarian response to acute crises; improved risk management in the face of looming crises or disasters; far-sighted and efficient planning and delivery of international humanitarian aid.
The Humanitarian Aid Coordinating Committee is an information-sharing and coordination body. Its remit is to coordinate Germany’s humanitarian aid with the various actors involved. The Committee is chaired jointly by the Federal Foreign Office’s Task Force for Humanitarian Aid and the Association of German Development NGOs (VENRO).
Its almost 30 members include VENRO, various German NGOs, other government ministries, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH as well as academics and representatives of a number of federal states.