The German special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues, Deike Potzel, is currently visiting Egypt as part of her recent regional tour to gain a better understanding of what is happening, and of course also to organise German aid for particularly Gaza in these dire circumstances. The German official has been to all the neighbouring countries of Gaza as well as Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia to look for possible ways of co-operation and also of improving the situation which is part of our humanitarian diplomacy.
Speaking to The Egyptian Gazette, the German official praised the enormous efforts that Egypt is doing regarding Gaza file. She pointed out to her ‘fruitful’ meetings with the foreign ministry, the health ministry and the Egyptian Red Crescent.
“We always have very fruitful, very open and very frank talks. We are explaining our position and what we’re doing and of course, Egypt is portraying, and that is very helpful,” Potzel said.
Germany has been providing incubators, monitors, respiratory movements, also for the treatment of patients here in Egypt. Germany has stepped up its humanitarian aid or Gaza over the last couple of months. “We are also advocating for the possibility of people to go back to the north because people are so crammed now in the South,” Potzel added.
“We are pushing for more access for the humanitarian aid, for better screening, facility capacity so that more aid can really go in. We also need more storage capacity in Gaza. That also means that we need safe spaces. So it’s sort of a comprehensive approach that is needed. And I just named a few examples of what we are pushing for,” she said.
The German official also pointed out that some progress had been made over the last month.
“Due to the enormous efforts of Egypt, Rafah crossing was opened. We saw a lot of planes coming in. We also saw, I think, an improvement in terms of prioritisation of aid.”
As the German government sees the suffering of people in Gaza, it has increased its humanitarian assistance, most recently on 9 January by €8 million. This brings over all assistance for Palestinian territories to €211 million with €138 million in new funding since 7 October.
The Federal Foreign Office is working with United Nations and experienced international organisations to get the needed aid to the people in Gaza. With the humanitarian assistance that is being approved by Germany, the organisations can obtain basic foodstuffs, medical care and hygiene products to Gaza.