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Minister Müller commenting on the Global Refugee Forum: additional support needed for children in crisis countries


The UNICEF initiative "No lost generation" wants to prevent the creation of a lost generation in Syria that only knows war and destruction by providing education offerings and psycho-social support.

Press release of 17.12.2019 |

BERLIN / GENEVA – On 17 and 18 December 2019, the first Global Refugee Forum for more effective support for refugees and host countries is taking place in Geneva. At the Forum, the German Development Ministry (BMZ) will be announcing new measures to support displaced women and provide better education for refugee children.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller commented: "The global refugee situation is still dramatic. Worldwide, there are 71 million displaced people – 2 million more than last year. 90 per cent of them have found refuge in a developing country. The root causes of refugee movements are wars, hunger and a lack of prospects. The situation in the crisis region around Syria, in Yemen or in the refugee camps of the Rohingya remains disastrous. It is the children who suffer most. That is why the BMZ committed another 16 million euros to the ‘Education Cannot Wait' Fund at the Refugee Forum. The Fund provides school education for almost 2 million children and youth in 18 crisis countries.

Refugee policy starts in the host countries and countries of origin. There, we can support refugees much more effectively and mitigate the root causes of displacement. It is a scandal, therefore, that this year UNHCR will be receiving only just over half of the funding it needs for its work."

In situations of displacement women are particularly at risk. That is why the BMZ is pushing for strengthening the role of women in peace processes and is setting up an action network for displaced women. The Global Refugee Forum is being convened for the first time and will take place every four years from now on. The Forum brings together companies and organisations from civil society and research and focuses on ways to make progress on the issues of education, employment, energy and infrastructure.

Over the last few years, the Development Ministry has significantly scaled up its efforts for improving the prospects of refugees in the host countries and for returnees. By providing emergency relief that makes an immediate impact for refugees in camps and by implementing measures for building basic infrastructure. And by carrying out structure-building activities, e.g. offering improved education opportunities for children, new vocational training possibilities and jobs for young people, and promoting the local private sector.

Since 2014, the BMZ has supported about 200 projects in 50 countries. Through these projects, we were able to help almost 10 million people in situations of displacement. For instance, we have provided school education for 1 million children and made available clean drinking water and sanitation for 7 million people. In the city of Mosul in northern Iraq alone, 700,000 people are benefiting from the rehabilitation of the drinking water system. With our Cash for Work programme, we have created 250,000 jobs, e.g. in the education sector by hiring teachers for Syrian refugee children, or in the construction sector by building housing and roads. And we have given 600,000 people access to health services.

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