On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, Markus Löning praises the efforts of humanitarian aid workers
For World Humanitarian Day, Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement today (18 August) in Berlin:
“The dramatic situation of the people in the Horn of Africa underscores the importance of international humanitarian aid. There are many German organizations and countless aid workers providing humanitarian assistance all over the world, often under very difficult conditions. We owe them our special thanks today.
Our thanks extend also to the donors, who often make humanitarian aid possible in the first place. Please do not let your willingness to donate slacken. Especially the people suffering in Africa need our help now!
The German Government will also continue to work toward effective humanitarian aid. The most important criterion continues to be that the aid directly help those affected.”
World Humanitarian Day is being celebrated for the third time on 19 August 2011. Initiated by the United Nations, this day is intended to recognize the work of humanitarian aid organizations and to keep the memory of fallen aid workers alive. On 19 August 2003 the UN office in Iraq was the target of a bombing that claimed the lives of 22 people, including UN Special Envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.
For the German Government, the Federal Foreign Office supports more than 200 individual humanitarian aid measures per year following natural disasters or in complex political crises. Regional focal points in the current year are Libya, the Sudan, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian territories, in addition to the Horn of Africa.
The aid is implemented by international organizations such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as well as by German non-governmental organizations. Mutual recognition of humanitarian principles and personal commitment on the part of many aid workers in the field are the essential prerequisites for the quality of German humanitarian aid.