Humanitarian Aid

Afrikanische Mutter mit Baby vor Aidsflagge in Burkina Faso Enlarge image (© picture-alliance/ dpa) Humanitarian aid is designed to help people in dire need as a result of natural disasters, epidemics, armed conflict or internal unrest.

The German Government funds appropriate relief projects run by UN humanitarian organizations, German NGOs and organizations of the Red Cross/Crescent Movement. The Federal Foreign Office is the lead ministry for this task.

Providing emergency aid for people in dire need as a result of natural disasters, epidemics, armed conflict or internal unrest is one of the Federal Foreign Office's top priorities.

Relief and prevention

The number of natural disasters in which people lose their lives or their livelihoods is on the rise. Poorer countries in particular suffer long-term economic damage and often see their development prospects set back by years. The Federal Foreign Office has long endeavoured to promote the mainstreaming of disaster reduction in science, practice and politics and to bring the various actors together.

The Federal Foreign Office funds humanitarian emergency aid, in particular help for refugees and internally displaced persons. It also promotes disaster reduction measures which can help minimize the impact of natural disasters, alleviate human suffering and reduce material damage.

More on the Federal Foreign Office's funding for disaster reduction projects

In contrast, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development provides more development-oriented emergency and transitional aid, the type of assistance that follows on from emergency aid to deal with humanitarian crises. This is designed to bridge the gap until longer-term development cooperation begins or to pave the way for such cooperation.

How do we help?

Humanitarian aid is designed to help people in dire need as a result of natural disasters, epidemics, armed conflict or internal unrest.
Hands holding corn; Kenya Enlarge image Hands holding corn; Kenya © picture-alliance/dpa (© picture-alliance/dpa) The German Government funds appropriate relief projects run by UN humanitarian organizations, German NGOs and organizations of the Red Cross/Crescent Movement. The Federal Foreign Office is the lead ministry for this task.

The Government’s key principle here is that humanitarian aid must be geared to the requirements of the emergency and nothing else. The German Government is committed here to the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.

More on humanitarian aid policies from the website of the Federal Foreign Office

Where do we help? Main humanitarian aid destinations

Haiti, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia - these are some of the focal points where the Federal Foreign Office funds humanitarian emergency and disaster aid. Medical supplies, food security and provision of drinking water are on top of the agenda.

Main humanitarian aid destinations

Humanitarian Aid

Junge Menschen aus aller Welt in traditionellen Kostümen mit Landesfahnen

Commissioner for Human Rights Policy

Bärbel Kofler

Christoph Strässer is the Federal Government's Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid.