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Strategy of the Federal Foreign Office for Humanitarian Assistance Abroad
About this resource
Climate change and the raw materials crisis, population growth, urbanization, extreme poverty
and exclusion, armed conflicts and protracted crises in many parts of the world have become
global challenges with a direct humanitarian impact. The consolidated appeals issued by the
United Nations, which are crucial for quantifying the global need for humanitarian assistance,
reached a record 8.83 billion US dollars in 2011. And the need for humanitarian assistance is
expected to rise even further.
Against this background, international humanitarian assistance is undergoing a paradigm shift.
Beyond the reaction to sudden disasters and crises humanitarian assistance increasingly needs
to be forward-looking. Responsible humanitarian assistance is not only reactive but also has a
formative effect. Risk analysis and management are just as essential as the quick availability
of assistance in the case of acute need, while coordinated cooperation with national, regional
and international partners is vital.
The overriding goal of humanitarian assistance is to help people who are suffering great
hardship or who are at risk of great hardship due to a crisis, conflict, natural disaster or
another cause according to their needs. The aim is to enable them to live in dignity and
security and to alleviate the suffering of those who are in dire need that is beyond their power
to alleviate. What causes the hardship is of no relevance. Humanitarian assistance is a mark of
ethical responsibility and international solidarity with people in need.
Plans, policy and strategy
Research, reports and studies