Joint press release of the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development on the submission of the report of the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement on 18 May 2021:
The independent Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement today presented the Federal Government and the German Bundestag with its recommendations for efforts to mitigate the root causes of displacement and migration. The Commission was established on the basis of the coalition agreement concluded by the CDU, CSU and SPD on 12 March 2018. It was chaired by Gerda Hasselfeldt, President of the German Red Cross, and Bärbel Dieckmann, former President of Welthungerhilfe (previously known as German Agro Action).
The Commission’s report endorsed the Government’s position that decisive action is still needed in view of the persistently increasing numbers of displaced persons around the world, and that any such action to minimise the root causes of displacement and migration must be coordinated between all ministries concerned. The 24 members of the Commission called, for example, for more resolute support for developing countries in combating climate change and for improved consideration of the specific situation faced by internally displaced persons. The Federal Government will make proposals on how to implement the Commission’s recommendations.
Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development:
I thank Gerda Hasselfeldt and Bärbel Dieckmann as co-chairs and the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement as a whole for their important work. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must always be aware that 80 million people have lost their homes – more than at any time since the Second World War. Hunger, climate change and the still high number of conflicts are among the causes. Four out of every five refugees find themselves in regions where the food situation is already extremely critical. This jeopardises the stability of entire regions and strikes hardest at the poorest of the poor. 85% of all refugees find shelter in developing countries. These countries need our support, for it is they who do the most to look after these refugees.
The report shows that we are on the right track. In the Syrian arc of crisis alone, we have supplied 11 million people with safe drinking water, and created jobs and incomes for 450,000 people. We must do more to expand our work in the fields of crisis prevention, protecting girls and women, and adapting to climate change. Helping refugees, continuing to tackle the root causes of forced migration and creating prospects for people in their homelands – that remains a humanitarian imperative and is ultimately also in our own interest.
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas:
Worldwide some 80 million people have been forced from their homes. The causes of displacement and forced migration are multi-faceted, ranging from political persecution to a lack of economic prospects. The situation in which many people find themselves is deteriorating dramatically due to the direct and indirect consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Crisis prevention, stabilisation and post-conflict peacebuilding are key elements in our foreign policy toolbox for tackling root causes of migration. The Commission’s recommendations for action will help us evaluate and further refine these instruments. We therefore thank the experts on the Commission for their work.
Horst Seehofer, Federal Minister of the Interior, Building and Community:
No country in the world can tackle migration on its own. We have to focus our efforts where the problems are, for while our willingness to help is great, the number of people we can take in is limited. The report helps us to stay on track in this controversial and difficult balancing act.
The 24 members of the Commission were appointed by the Cabinet on 3 July 2019 from academia, non-governmental organisations, business and international organisations. Their combined expertise covers the broad spectrum of issues relevant to displacement and migration – from conflict, human rights violations and political persecution to scarce resources, structural food insecurity, inequality and the consequences of climate change. The Commission was chaired by Gerda Hasselfeldt, President of the German Red Cross, and Bärbel Dieckmann, former President of Welthungerhilfe (previously known as German Agro Action).
The publication of the report was delayed until May to enable the Commission to give adequate consideration to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on displacement and migration.