Press Release

Reaction of Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo on United Nations figures on the biggest humanitarian crisis ever

In the last weeks and months, our country allocated almost 60 million euros in direct humanitarian emergency assistance for, amongst others, South Sudan and Yemen, and for general support for the World Food Program (WFP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), both active in the field. This was mentioned by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, responsible for humanitarian aid.

Alexander De Croo: “The biggest humanitarian crises are now in South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, Syria and Iraq. We are closely following the situation in these countries and we are in close contact with the UN and the humanitarian aid organisations active in the field.”

“But we also have to face the fundamental problem: 80% of these crises are caused by people and not by natural disasters. Humanitarian emergency aid alone will not solve them. We have to insist more on conflict resolution, for example by pointing out the own responsibilities of the countries and the regions where these conflicts take place. A lot more efforts are necessary to solve the crises in stead of making them bigger. I’m thinking here about South Sudan, Yemen, the crisis around lake Tchad and the situation in Syria.”

“Belgium, as a small country, can not do this on its own. We need more European strength and more international cooperation. It is not by turning our backs on the world, as is being promoted today by populists and extremists, that we will manage to put an end to these terrible humanitarian tragedies.”