Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement today (7 November) following his meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in Berlin:
“More than 60 million people – never before have so many people been forced to flee their homes. Of course, the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the neighbouring countries is a special focus of our aid efforts.
Yet looking beyond the situation in the Middle East, we also have a responsibility not to lose sight of crises that are currently not getting global attention and do not appear daily on our television screens. I am thinking of the Lake Chad region, South Sudan, Somalia and Burundi. The situation in these countries has recently worsened dramatically due to the escalation of existing conflicts and the flaring up of new ones, as well as climate-related natural disasters. The countries of sub‑Saharan Africa are currently sheltering the largest number of refugees in the world.
These countries urgently need our help! Thanks to support provided by the German Bundestag, I have been able to confirm to Filippo Grandi today that before the end of the year we will be making available to the UNHCR 61 million euros for additional humanitarian aid, to respond to the acute crises in Africa. With this funding, people can be given assistance close to their home regions and will not feel compelled to set out on a dangerous journey to Europe.
In recent years, Germany has increased its humanitarian assistance funding many times over and also consistently expanded its financial support for the UN Refugee Agency. We want to continue to set a good example so that other members of the international community will follow in our footsteps or step up their existing engagement.”