After the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier underlined that the humanitarian situation in the region was worrying, and that the Federal Government would therefore support several concrete measures:
The German Government has long supported all bilateral, EU and UN activities aimed at bringing the violence to an end and alleviating the suffering of those affected. It funds medical centres that help women and girls who have been raped. It promotes aid measures for internally displaced persons, including both water supplies and basic health care. It also provides substantial financial assistance for relief operations run by NGOs, the International Red Cross and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The fighting is making it very difficult for aid organizations to help people on the ground. Access to those in need is vital if they are to be supplied with the essentials. For this reason, too, the hostilities have to cease permanently, and soon.
The Federal Foreign Office supports projects run by German aid organizations such as Caritas, Johanniter International Assistance or Diakonie Emergency Aid, as well as by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the UNHCR.
Repairing Goma airport
Steinmeier said he could imagine a European or German project to repair Goma airport, where the runway is partly covered by lava as a result of a volcano eruption a few years ago. The damage to the airport means that it is currently very difficult to get supplies to both those in need and the MONUC UN forces, as only small aircraft can land there.