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Germany stands by its partners

Be it in the midst of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the food crisis or climate change – the German government also pursues its solidarity-based foreign policy in times of crisis.

German Foreign Minister Baerbock visits a WFP storage facility in Dubai.
German Foreign Minister Baerbock visits a WFP storage facility in Dubai. © picture alliance/dpa

From the perspective of Germany, three major crises in particular influenced policymaking in 2023: Russia’s war against Ukraine, which is especially disastrous for Europe, the resulting international food crisis, and the ongoing global climate crisis. Germanysupports the people and countries affected by these various crises, working closely together with the United Nations (UN), among other partners. With its campaign “Into Focus”, however, the German government also takes action in areas which are not currently in the public eye.

Russian war of aggression against Ukraine 

Ever since it was founded, the Federal Republic of Germany has been committed to people’s right to self-determination and to the inviolability of national borders. Russia has violated these principles, initially by occupying the Ukrainian Crimea and then with its war of aggression against Ukraine. Germany does everything in its power to support Ukraine in its defensive struggle, both militarily and with civilian assistance at government and non-governmental level. And the government is by no means diminishing its efforts: in 2024, military assistance is to be doubled from four to eight billion euros.

Russian invasion sparks global food crisis 

Ukraine, one of the world’s largest wheat producers, was initially unable to export any food products at all as a result of the Russian attack. Ever since the blockade was lifted in response to international pressure, the country has been able to resume exports despite the ongoing war. From the start of 2023 at the latest, the blockade had led to a global food crisis. Coupled with an energy and financial crisis, around 1.6 billion people in 94 countries were affected by this crisis in one way or another. Germany is internationally committed at many levels to mitigating the consequences. For example, it funded grain shipments to Ethiopia and significantly stepped up its contributions to the UN’s World Food Programme. It has been the second-largest donor to the programme for some years. 

Climate crisis hits poor countries first 

The impacts of the climate crisis are first felt by countries that are not among those chiefly to blame for it: the island nations, for example, and countries in climatic zones that are at risk of drought and desertification in any case. Germany is resolutely driving an international energy transition. By 2022, for instance, Germany was already making 6.3 billion euros a year available to fund climate adaptation in emerging and developing countries, three years earlier than promised. At the start of COP28 in late 2023, the German government was the first, together with Dubai, to pledge 100 million US dollars to the Loss and Damage Fund for poor countries. COP28 also saw the Climate Club of more than 36 states initiated by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz come together for the first time; its goal is to develop climate-neutral industry.