“Let’s all pull together”

Aktion Deutschland Hilft, Germany's Relief Coalition, hosted a dialogue forum at Frankfurt’s Historical Museum together with the German Foreign Office for International Human Rights Day.

How can humanitarian aid become more effective and how can businesses contribute? How to create a “win-win situation” for strategic partnerships between companies that operate abroad and aid organisations? These questions were the focus of the dialogue forum “Companies as Humanitarian Players”.

The dialogue forum marked the kick-off of the “CSR Humanitarian” initiative which is under the patronage of MP Michael Brand (Chairman of the Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid Committee) as well as MP Christoph Strässer (Federal Government Representative for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid) and aims to encourage an exchange between humanitarian organisations and companies.

The event brought together representatives from the fields of business, science and politics as well as Lufthansa Cargo: Director of Flight Operations Wolfgang Raebiger talked about his experiences with planning and implementing humanitarian flights to Manila and to Ebola-affected areas in Sierra Leone. “The focus of this event is the dialogue with other players and mutual learning. This is the only way to help us optimise our aid even more in future,” pointed out Raebiger.

“With this kick-off event we have triggered a dialogue process that has not come to an end today,” said presenter Heike Leitschuh, who was delighted with the animated discussion. A follow-up event is already scheduled to take place in Berlin next year.

One thing is certain: humanitarian aid will remain an important topic in the next few years. According to the latest forecasts of the German government it is expected hat 125 million people will need humanitarian aid to survive in 2016.