16 January 2013, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization (APO), BERLIN, Germany — Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle has announced in Berlin that the German Government will provide an additional one million euros in humanitarian aid to Mali. The funds will be made available to Welthungerhilfe to help relieve the suffering of refugees from Mali.
Federal Foreign Minister, Westerwelle said, ‘even given the important strategic and military considerations, we must keep the needs of the people in mind’.
The humanitarian situation in Mali has been deteriorating since the Islamist rebels have made advances in the north of the country. According to current estimates by the United Nations, up to 4.2 million people will be dependent on humanitarian aid this year. Around 350,000 people have fled the affected regions, 150,000 to Mali’s neighbours.
The funds are to be used to purchase blankets, cooking equipment and hygiene kits for refugees from the north of Mali. Measures are also to be taken to counteract the food shortage crisis.
Since the end of 2011, Germany has pledged a total of 13.65 million euros in humanitarian aid for Mali. This goes to support the activities of organizations including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and German NGOs in Mali.
For the entire Sahel region, a total of 63.8 million euros has been pledged so far (Federal Foreign Office: 10.8 million; Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development: 53 million).