Syrian crisis

Parliamentary State Sec­re­ta­ry Thomas Silberhorn dis­cus­ses Syrian crisis with WFP Re­gional Co­or­di­nator Muhannad Hadi

Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn with the Regional Coordinator for the Syrian crisis at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Muhannad Hadi

12.03.2014 |

In a meeting today, Parliamentary State Secretary Silberhorn discussed the dramatic situ­a­tion of Syrian refugees with Muhannad Hadi, the Regional Coordinator for the Syrian crisis at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

Silberhorn said, "In view of the fact that there are about nine million people who need humanitarian assistance at this point, three years after the crisis in Syria began, it is not acceptable that the parties in the conflict are not allowing humanitarian access in Syria. Using starvation as a weapon is a war crime. Within the EU, the German gov­ern­ment will be lobbying for putting increased pressure on the parties in the conflict in order to ensure that the suffering people have access to aid."

Regional Coordinator Hadi confirmed that lack of access was a grave problem for WFP's activities in Syria, but he also drew attention to the fact that in­ter­national aid programmes were dramatically underfunded. He said, "It would be tragic to secure more access in Syria but to then find ourselves in a situ­a­tion where we do not have the required funds to assist hungry people who have long been under siege." So far, only 12 per cent of overall UN appeals for 2014 have been met by donor com­mit­ments. Hadi expressly thanked Germany for its generous support to the World Food Programme in the con­text of the Syrian crisis, which so far totals 55 million euros. Germany is one of the most im­por­tant donors and contributed a record 173 million euros to WFP in 2013.

Since 2012, Germany has provided some 482 million euros in response to the Syrian crisis, of which 251 million euros in humanitarian aid and 67.1 million euros in crisis response came from the Federal Foreign Office, and about 164 million euros came from the BMZ budget. Within Syria, the BMZ reaches needy people mainly through WFP and through the local partners of German non-governmental and faith-based organisations. The focus of BMZ support is on assisting Syrian refugees and host communities in the neigh­bour­ing coun­tries that are par­tic­u­lar­ly affected, that is Jordan and Lebanon.

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