On the occasion of the World Refugee Day, June 20, the Human Rights Commissioner of Germany calls for partnerships at local and international level to address the growing challenges refugees at all levels.
“We must work together to support the aid organisations which look after refugees, as well as the countries, local authorities and regions which take in particularly many people. I thus very much welcome the fact that the Federal Foreign Office significantly increased its contributions to UNHCR once again last year – to approximately 405 million euros,” said Dr Bärbel Kofler, German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office.
“…We also want to work together with the international community in this new capacity to further intensify our efforts to contain crises and conflicts or to stop them from arising in the first place. This is without a doubt the most effective action we can take to reduce the causes for refugee movements,” the Commissioner said.
A few days ago, Germany was elected to the United Nations Security Council.
“It is becoming ever more common for people to be forced to leave their homes due to violent conflicts, persecution or massive human rights violations. At the end of last year, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) was responsible for 68.5 million people, including almost 20 million refugees and 39 million internally displaced persons. This was a sad new record,” said, Dr Bärbel Kofler.
“When people find themselves driven from their homes, they need reliable international protection. They frequently also require humanitarian aid to provide for themselves and their families in a dignified and safe manner. The increasingly difficult conditions faced by humanitarian agencies trying to help people in crisis regions are a cause for concern. Making sure that aid agencies have unhindered humanitarian access remains a key issue for which we must always take a firm stand,” the Commissioner said.
Over the past five years, the German’s government has increased its budget for humanitarian assistance abroad to more than ten times what it had previously spent. This makes Germany one of the largest donors of humanitarian aid. In 2017, Federal Foreign Office spending for this purpose amounted to approximately 1.7 billion euros, according to the press statement NewBusinessEthiopia.com received from the German Embassy in Addis Ababa.
“At the same time, Germany is working internationally to innovate and strengthen the humanitarian system. In a parallel effort, the Federal Foreign Office has joined forces with people and partners involved in Germany’s cultural relations and education policy to significantly increase cultural work in crisis-hit regions,” the statement said.
The mission of the Office of the UNHCR is to protect and assist the world’s more than 71 million refugees, internally displaced persons, asylum seekers, stateless persons and returnees.