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Today Thomas Silberhorn, the Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, ended his three-day visit to Iraq and Jordan. In a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Silberhorn pledged support for the people who have fled from Mosul and assistance for rebuilding the city following its liberation.
While public attention is focused on major news events, silent disasters are taking place in Africa. Providing rapid assistance would save lives and be less expensive in the long run.
This is the conclusion arrived at by UNICEF in a report on the situation of children in crisis regions.
The Federal Foreign Office supported 307 projects for humanitarian aid, humanitarian mine clearance as well as disaster prevention all over the world in 2003 to the tune of EUR 71.5 million.
The Federal Foreign Office is making available one million euro from its humanitarian aid funds to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide assistance to refugees in Africa:
In 2001, the Federal Foreign Office Task Force for Humanitarian Aid funded aid projects around the world to a tune of DM 131.6 million (67.1 million euro), representing an increase of 13% on the year 2000. A total of approximately 470 projects were financed, of which 40 projects were concerned with humanitarian demining.
The German Government is continuing its emergency relief efforts for the famine-threatened population in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea in cooperation with German relief agencies. A further DM 2.5 million has been added to the DM 22.5 million in emergency relief funding that had already been approved, bringing the overall volume of German relief currently being provided to DM 25 million. Of this amount, DM 20 million is being used to provide food and DM 2.5 million for drinking water, supplementary nutrients, and medical supplies.
The German government and the German public view with utmost concern the tragedy that is unfolding in the Horn of Africa. Germany joined in the international efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to those threatened by the famine as soon as the gravity of the situation became apparent.
The drought disaster is compounded, however, by long-standing armed conflicts in the region.
First Installment of DM 3.0 million Committed to WHO
The ongoing drought in East Africa, particularly in Ethiopia and Eritrea, threatens the survival of more than 16 million people, according to the United Nations. The German government and public are greatly concerned by the escalating disaster in the Horn of Africa.
Germany has responded to this emergency and has allocated DM 3 million (US $ 1.5 million) to the relief efforts of the World Food Programme. This contribution is earmarked for the acquisition of food and measures to improve the rapid distribution in affected areas.