Merkel warns of worsening humanitarian situation around the world
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of the worsening humanitarian situation around the world, citing the coronavirus pandemic and global warming as likely to lead to further emergencies, in her video message on Saturday.
“We must assume that the pandemic and climate change will lead to changes in the situation for many people around the world,” Merkel said in her weekly podcast. As a country, it is important to quickly mobilize humanitarian aid, she added.
As examples, Merkel named operations by the Bundeswehr and work by the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) in Lebanon in the aftermath of the Beirut port blast that killed 178 people and injured at least 6,000.
The explosion “showed how terribly quickly a crisis can develop,” Merkel said.
Looking ahead to World Humanitarian Aid Day on August 19, Merkel emphasized the importance of protecting aid workers.
“Unfortunately we have seen repeatedly that they are too often the target of attacks, and prevented from going about their important work.” They ought to be given the protection they are due under international law, she said.
People in countries where the state is weak or where there is armed conflict often lack the protection they need when crisis hits, she said. “That’s why political solutions are often needed – humanitarian aid can only help in the short term.”