Refugee crisis - what German foreign policy is doingEnlarge image Syrian refugees on their way to Turkey (© Sebastian Backhaus/picture alliance / dpa)
There have never been so many people who have fled their homes since the end of World War Two. The refugee crisis cannot be solved by national legislation alone but requires an international approach
German foreign policy is thus taking many different steps to improve the current situation. There are currently more than 60 million refugees in the world, half of them are children and young people in need of protection.
The primary causes are violent conflict, eroding state structures and the brutality of terrorist organisations such as ISIL. German foreign policy has a multi-layered approach to alleviate the suffering caused.
Combating the causes of fligh
Germany foreign policy is playing an active role in de‑escalating conflict whether bilaterally or within the European Union and the United Nations. One focal point is combating the causes of flight, above all through political initiatives to promote peace, particularly in Syria and Iraq.
- Germany is helping countries of origin, first admission and transit to deal with the refugee situation ‑ with emergency accommodation, food, medical care and education. People need to have prospects for the future in their home countries. Alongside humanitarian assistance, stabilisation projects in a conflict or post-conflict situation create conditions which give the people the prospect of remaining or returning (safe environment, medical care and social welfare, infrastructure). The German Government is supporting those who stay as they rebuild their country.
- At European level, Germany advocates dealing with the refugee crisis on the basis of solidarity and shared responsibility.
- Germany is also supporting the international organisations dealing with the refugee crisis, such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP). Germany is one of the largest bilateral donors. These funds are used to help refugees in Syria and neighbouring countries.
- The Federal Foreign Office and its missions abroad are providing information and increasing awareness - about German assistance in crisis areas, about the dangers of flight due to misinformation and about the reality of the situation in Germany, also from the legal point of view. After all, those who put their lives in the hands of human traffickers, are literally risking their own lives and those of their family and often lose all their worldly belongings and their economic foundations.