UN Summit for Refugees

Germany calls for more international solidarity in response to refugee crisis

Federal Minister for Development Gerd Müller speaking at a UNICEF event as part of the 70th birthday celebrations of the children's aid agency on the eve of the UN Summit for Refugees and migrants

Press release of 19.09.2016 |

New York – At the beginning of the first United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants, German Development Minister Gerd Müller called on all parties to disburse the aid they had pledged in response to the plight of millions of people within and outside Syria. At the conference on Syria in London in February, the international community had committed some 10 billion dollars in assistance. Not even half of that money has been provided yet.

Commenting on this fact, Minister Müller said in the margins of a UNICEF event celebrating the agency's 70th anniversary: "It is scandalous that some countries are only making pledges on paper while people within and outside Syria are starving and have no shelter. Big promises do not fill babies' bottles, send children to school or create jobs. The international community has to find a system that detects crises early on and facilitates joint practical responses."

Müller called for a UN refugee fund to which each country contributes according to its capacity and according to its willingness to host people in need. "We need fair global burden-sharing in the field of refugee policy, and far-sighted action on the part of all players."

Federal Minister Gerd Müller with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in New York

The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants has been convened UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Summit's aim is to establish a consensus among member states that there is a shared responsibility worldwide for major refugee and migration movements. The Summit is expected to help reinforce global assistance for displaced people and foster refugees' access to education and jobs in host countries.

Minister Müller said, "Dealing with the refugee crisis is a global task. Each country has to shoulder its share of the responsibility. Together, we can – and we must – resolve the problems in the refugees' countries of origin. Assistance must be delivered swiftly and efficiently."

Germany is setting a good example. More than one million children have access to education thanks to German assistance. Over the past three years, the Development Ministry's funding in response to the Syria and Iraq crisis has almost quadrupled. For example, Germany has launched an employment drive which will create 50,000 jobs for displaced people within and outside Syria.

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