Germany: Humanitarian assistance by the Federal Foreign Office in the year 2001
The upward trend will be continued in 2002 with financial resources totalling 86 million euro available. The regular budget for humanitarian relief measures is admittedly somewhat smaller than in the previous year (38 million euro), as is the regular budget for the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe (8 million euro). The Task Force is however receiving additional resources from the anti-terrorism package (15 million euro) as well as from the Stability Pact for Afghanistan (8 million euro). A total of 17 million euro is being made available this year for humanitarian demining worldwide - the largest sum ever since the Federal Foreign Office started supporting such projects.
In 2001, the Balkans remained a prime focus of our humanitarian endeavours, receiving assistance amounting to DM 35 million, above all for projects in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The second focus was Afghanistan, where even before 11 September the situation of the people was desperate following 20 years of war and civil war, as well as prolonged drought. The tremendous efforts of the donor countries and relief organizations, in the positive political framework established by the Bonn Agreement, have managed to prevent a humanitarian disaster. Humanitarian aid for Afghanistan in the year 2001 amounted to approximately DM 17.6 million. A coordinator for humanitarian measures was stationed in Kabul at the end of the year.
The humanitarian situation in Chechnya also remains critical. A total of DM 5 million was spent on refugees and internally displaced persons in Ingushetia and Chechnya in 2001.
In January 2001 large areas of India and Pakistan were shaken by the most violent earthquake to strike since 1950. The quake, the epicentre of which was in the Indian state of Gujarat, measured 7.9 on the Richter scale. The Task Force made available some DM 4.5 million for the victims.
In many regions of Africa natural disasters and internal conflicts have led to great humanitarian difficulties. The Task Force has supported more than 100 projects in 32 countries in sub-Saharan Africa with a total of DM 22.5 million. This assistance has focused on regions including Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, Angola and the Great Lakes area, in particular the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as Mozambique, which has been affected by heavy rainfall for two consecutive years. The measures centre on the protection, feeding and sheltering of refugees and internally displaced persons as well as returning them to their homes.
Efforts in Latin America were focused on El Salvador, which was hit by two serious earthquakes early in 2001, as well as Peru, countries of Central America and the Caribbean (following hurricane Michelle). Approximately DM 8 million was allocated for the whole region in 2001.
The Palestinian people received assistance to a value of DM 11 million, primarily through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and various projects in the medical field.
Over DM 22 million was spent on humanitarian demining in the year 2001, spread between projects in 19 different countries. Key countries were Afghanistan, Mozambique, Cambodia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Because targeted preventive measures can considerably reduce the consequences of natural disasters for the affected population, the Federal Foreign Office additionally tripled its funding of disaster reduction to a total of approximately DM 6 million in 2001. This money went towards 28 projects, mainly in Central America and Mozambique, i.e. regions which are regularly affected by natural disasters.