To mark World Humanitarian Day on 19 August, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (19 August):
The Federal Foreign Office has been the German Government ministry responsible for humanitarian assistance abroad for the last 50 years. Indeed, we have been helping people in danger as a result of conflicts, epidemics or natural disasters for the last 50 years.
Germany was the world’s second-largest bilateral donor in 2017. It is impossible to imagine the international system of humanitarian assistance without Germany – one of the key donors, an influential player and a driver of innovation. To us, the suffering of those we help is often inconceivable – people who have lost everything. Again in 2018, Germany is therefore funding aid projects amounting to around 1.5 billion euros – a visible sign of our solidarity with people in need around the world.
We place our faith in cooperation with tried and tested partners: the UN’s humanitarian agencies, the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, as well as NGOs. The staff of our partner organisations often risk their lives in the line of duty. More and more frequently, they themselves are the target of attacks. To mark World Humanitarian Day let us remind ourselves that humanitarian aid workers must not be allowed to become targets!