Aid for crisis regions

Minister Müller an­noun­ces ad­di­tion­al 40 million euros in emer­gen­cy sup­port for ref­u­gees in nor­thern Iraq and Gaza

Refugee camp in Jordan in February 2014

13.08.2014 |

Berlin – Today, Minister Gerd Müller has committed an additional 20 million euros each for crisis response in Iraq and in Gaza.

The funds will be channelled through aid agencies that are already working on the ground. Minister Müller also renewed his call on the European Union to show a stronger profile in responding to the refugee crises in the two coun­tries and in other regions of the world, and to provide coordinated assistance by making available an extra one billion euros in EU refugee support, by means of shifting funds from existing budget lines.

Minister Müller said, "What is vital in both crisis regions now is to help people very quickly, without any detours or red tape. People urgently need our assistance! I am also appealing to people in Germany to make private donations in support of aid agencies' assistance for people in northern Iraq and in Gaza."

In Iraq, there are some 1.2 million internally displaced people who have fled from the advance of the Islamist troops. Most of them are in northern Iraq. Infrastructure in local communities and in refugee camps is under heavy strain. The German De­vel­op­ment Ministry is responding to this with the additional funds it is providing, which will go to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and non-governmental organisations that are active on the ground. Specifically, activities will focus on drinking water supply and on the protection of children and youth.

In Gaza, the additional funding is intended to help people make a fresh start quickly. Minister Müller said, "The military conflict has resulted in major damage. Large proportions of the infrastructure have been destroyed or damaged and many people have lost their livelihoods. There is an urgent need to rebuild the region. However, this requires a lasting ceasefire and a reliable long-term basis for economic and social de­vel­op­ment in Gaza. Half of all people who live there are children and young people. And it is they in particular who are facing a grim outlook. There are hardly any job op­por­tu­ni­ties and there is hardly any chance for them to build a liveli­hood in economic, social and political freedom. It is they who need our special attention if we want to prevent further radicalisation in Gaza."

As part of the efforts of the in­ter­national donor com­mu­ni­ty, Germany will assist with reconstruction in Gaza. The funding for emergency measures that has now been committed will go towards rebuilding Gaza's water supply and waste­water system, which has been destroyed. Germany will also support an employment programme that will target young people in particular, as well as psychosocial counselling programmes.

The Palestinian territories are one of the priority partners for Germany's de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion. Since the early 1980s, the region has received more than one billion euros in assistance. The focus of this assistance has been on the water sector and on economic de­vel­op­ment through employ­ment programmes and vocational training, and also on capacity building for gov­ern­ment institutions and for civil society.

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