A joint initiative by the German Foreign Federal Office and German aid organizations
We are a group of international aid organizations who, along with the German Federal Foreign Office, have initiated a campaign to remind people of forgotten humanitarian crises. We get support from the United Nations Association of German. With our motto #nichtvergesser, we want to call the public to more actively deal with forgotten crises: be interested, talk about it and share information.
Worldwide, millions of people live in forgotten humanitarian conflicts, without enough attention from politics or the media. We want to change that. Our goal: We are gathering 100,000 voices to hand over to the UN Secretary General António Guterres in the summer of 2018. Along with them, we want to pass on our request to promote more attention for forgotten humanitarian conflicts – for example by creating a UN day commemorating forgotten conflicts. Help us on our journey, join the #nichtvergesser, and tell your friends and family!
Interview with Dr. Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid
Dr. Kofler, you are the patron of the “#nichtvergesser – Krisen vergessen heißt Menschen vergessen” campaign. What are forgotten humanitarian crises?
Dr. Bärbel Kofler: Forgotten humanitarian crises are often long-lasting crises with great humanitarian need, marked by low reporting and thus a lack of donations. Lacking interest in the media is particularly fatal: crises then unfold beyond the public eye. The crises in Yemen (civil war and food insecurity) and Myanmar (oppression of the Muslim Rohingya), as well as in Colombia (internally displaced persons due to the conflict between armed forces, rebels and paramilitary groups) or in West Sahara (refugees in Algeria) are all examples for forgotten humanitarian conflicts.
How can this campaign help improve the situation for people in forgotten humanitarian conflicts?
Dr. Bärbel Kofler: As campaign initiators, the aid organizations and the German Federal Foreign Office aim to shift forgotten crises into the focus of humanitarian work both at a political level as well as in public perception. The aid organizations deliver emergency relief, meaning they provide people in regions of crisis with what is essential to survive – regardless of it being due to a natural catastrophe or a political conflict. It is our goal to make these organizations’ vital work more visible, in order to secure their efforts in the long term.
How do you want to reach these goals?
Dr. Bärbel Kofler: We are counting on the abilities of social media to spread our symbol – a knot as a personal reminder – and animate as many people as possible to take part. In the summer of 2018, we want to hand all the #nichtvergesser pictures we have collected to the UN General Secretary. This is also why we want to provide material for classrooms and youth groups. We are also targeting political decision makers, for aside from humanitarian aid, political involvement is invaluable in solving political conflicts.