German Humanitarian Action2022-03-22T16:12:05+01:00

German Humanitarian Action

In recent years the humanitarian aid from Germany has multiplied. The Federal Government and German aid organizations are playing an increasingly important role in the international arena. At the same time, this raises high – and to date not completely fulfilled – expectations for German actors to continue the strategic development of its humanitarian aid as well as to effectively protect humanitarian principles internationally.

The project aims to examine the strategic and policy capacity of German humanitarian organisations from an international perspective and to develop recommendations for public and civil German humanitarian actors.

Contact Person: Sonja Hövelmann

Out of the box: Strategy Snacks 4

29.05.2024 12:30 - 13:45


Germany's new humanitarian strategy will be presented very soon. How important is it to prioritise key topics and resources? Ralf Südhoff discusses it with Dr. Thorsten Klose-Zuber, Philipp Rotmann und Sonja Hövelmann.

Unfulfilled Promises


publicationsIn this report for Caritas Europa CHA research fellow Goda Milasiute analyses the considerable disparity between rhetoric and reality in supporting local humanitarian organisations. More...

CHA Conference 2024

04.06.2024 00:00 - 23:59


The CHA Conference 2024 will focus on the topic “Climate & humanitarian crises and the lack of a joint response – Needs, narratives and necessities”. Register now!

Out of the box: Strategy Snacks 3

15.11.2023 12:00 - 13:15


What options for humanitarian diplomacy are there in Germany’s new humanitarian strategy? We discussed this with Manuel Sánchez-Montero, ACF Spain; Emma Beals, independent consultant; and Federico Dessi, Handicap International Regional Director.

How Germany can make a more ambitious commitment to localization in its Humanitarian Strategy



Maryam Zarnegar Deloffre, Director of the Humanitarian Action Initiative at the George Washington University, analyses Germany’s humanitarian strategy, offering insights into integrating localisation efforts akin to the US model.

Principled Payer, but Purposeful Player?


publicationsAgainst the backdrop of Germany‘s evolvement as a top 2 donor, this paper is dedicated to analysing international perceptions of German humanitarian engagement in the areas of motives and interests, potentials, and impact. More...

Ralf Südhoff member of the jury for the Humanitarian Aid Journalism Award



Young journalists can apply for the “Humanitarian Aid Journalism Award” until 7 January 22024. Member of the jury: CHA Director Ralf Südhoff.

Germany's rise as a humanitarian donor


publicationsGermany’s rise to becoming the second-largest humanitarian donor is exceptional in the humanitarian system. How have narratives at play amongst the population, media, government and aid agencies enabled and justified the significant increase in Germany’s humanitarian assistance budget? More...

Applying the Objectives and Principles of Humanitarianism to State Diplomacy. A Spanish Case Study.



Manuel Sánchez-Montero, Director of ACF Spain, reflects on the Spanish Humanitarian Diplomacy Strategy and on the lessons learned during the process of its developement.

Humanitarian Action in a Funding Crisis

29.11.2023 16:00 - 18:00


In light of the upcoming cuts in the budget for humanitarian action, Oxfam Germany and the Centre for Humanitarian Action invited to a panel discussion: Is a Feminist Foreign Policy the Roadmap to a De-colonial Future?

The impact of policy narratives on political action: Learning from Germany’s rise as a humanitarian donor

18.10.2023 18:00 - 19:30


To mark the launch of the new study "Germany’s rise as a humanitarian donor. The interplay of narratives, new foreign policy ambitions and domestic interests", the Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI and the Centre for Humanitarian Action invited to a panel discussion on the topic in Berlin. 

Ralf Südhoff at CARE



CHA Director Ralf Südhoff will give a key note on the current challenges for the humanitarian system and civil society organisations at this year’s General Assembly of CARE Germany.

Berlin.Table with CHA Paper on German Humanitarian Action



In an analysis on Berlin.Table, the so far unpublished paper by Sonja Hövelmann and Ralf Südhoff on the international perception of German humanitarian action is quoted comprehensively [German].

Humanitarian Congress Berlin 2023



On October 10-13, 2023, the Humanitarian Congress will take place in Berlin. CHA will be represented on the panel as well as with an information booth.

Parliament hearing on health in conflict and war



CHA director Ralf Südhoff has been appointed as an expert for a public hearing of the Federal German Parliament and its Subcommittee on Global Health on 19 September 2023.

Where humanitarian diplomacy is feasible and highly necessary



The credibility of humanitarian diplomacy is crucial – both in global crises and domestically. Ole Hengelbrock emphasizes its pivotal role, illustrating this through the realms of arms control, sanction policies, and migration.

Open house at the German Federal Foreign Office



Why are gender aspects important in humanitarian action? Goda Milasiute will discuss this with Anica Heinlein (CARE) and Sabine Eismann (AA) at the Open Day at the Federal Foreign Office in the Willy-Brandt-Saal on 19 August at 12 noon.

Ralf Südhoff in German media on the global food crisis and Syria



Ralf Südhoff was interviewed in the news programmes ProSieben Newstime and ZDF heute journal as well as by news agency epd about the global food crisis and the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Three questions for a more feminist humanitarian strategy



Whether and how are feminist foreign policies shaping humanitarian response? Megan Daigle asks three questions for a more feminist humanitarian strategy.

Out of the box: Strategy Snacks 2

20.07.2023 12:00 - 13:00


What significance will the Grand Bargain have for Germany's new humanitarian strategy? What are the international expectations for Germany? We will discuss this with Michael Köhler, DG ECHO and newly appointed Grand Bargain Ambassador, and Susanne Fries-Gaier, German Federal Foreign Office.

Out of the box: Strategy Snacks

10.07.2023 11:30 - 13:00


The GFFO is currently developing a new humanitarian strategy that will apply from 2024. What are the expectations and demands of German civil society? We discussed this with Oliver Müller, Caritas international, and Alexandra Rüth, German Red Cross.

Validation Workshop of the Narratives Project

25.05.2023 15:00 - 17:00


As part of the Narrative Project, after the completion of data collection and numerous expert interviews, initial results and preliminary findings will be presented in a workshop and it will be discussed what lessons can be learned for humanitarian communication.

Forgotten Crises - to go


publicationsIn the current #Into Focus campaign, attention is being drawn to so-called "forgotten crises". But where does the term come from? What are the definitions and criteria? This to go -Paper introduces the topic.

Leadership and humanitarian change


publicationsThe demands on leaders in the humanitarian sector in today’s crises are more challenging and complex than ever before. The analysis of six research institutions on key leadership topics in one compilation.

Interviews with ZEIT Online, Frankfurter Rundschau and Tagesspiegel: The worst crisis year of the century



Ralf Südhoff talked to German newspapers ZEIT Online, Frankfurter Rundschau and Tagesspiegel about the current humanitarian situation and gave an outlook on the crisis year 2023.

CHA Statement on the report of the Federal Government on German humanitarian assistance


publicationsCHA statement on Germany's role in the humanitarian system, the status of the Grand Bargain, international organisations and local actors, and the growing food insecurity.

Parliament hearing on humanitarian assistance



CHA director Ralf Südhoff has been appointed as an expert for a public hearing of the Federal German Parliament and its Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid on 23 January 2023.

The role of narratives in the rise of Germany as a humanitarian donor



As research partner of the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) the Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) will conduct a study titled ‘the role of narratives in the rise of Germany as a humanitarian donor’.

Andrea Steinke at the expert discussion of the Platform for Civil Conflict Prevention



On 2 February 2023 CHA researcher Andrea Steinke gives an input on the further development of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus at the online expert discussion “Rethinking Crisis Prevention – What Civilian Objectives Do We Need to Strengthen Germany’s Role in Conflict Management and Peacebuilding?”.

Humanitarian Action in Theory and Practice at the University of Tübingen



Together with Martin Quack, the CHA organises the Humanitarian Action in Theory and Practice seminar for the second time at the University of Tübingen in the Peace and Conflict Studies Master’s programme.

CHA Policy Brief: Where does the Grand Bargain 2.0 stand?


publicationsThe policy brief provides an overview of where the Grand Bargain 2.0 stands after one year, the results the working groups have produced, and the role and contributions Germany is taking on.

Ukraine – a test for principled humanitarian action?

18.10.2022 12:30 - 14:00


Médecins Sans Frontières and the Centre for Humanitarian Action invite to a private luncheon with Dr. Christos Christou, International President, Médecins Sans Frontières on the topic principled humanitarian action in conflict contexts such as Ukraine.

Civil-Military Co-operation and humanitarian principles: Sonja Hövelmann at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College



On 4 October Sonja Hövelmann gives an input on Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC) and humanitarian principles at the international General Staff Training of the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College.

CHA Annual Conference 2022: Where is the Humanitarian Turning Point?

23.11.2022 00:00 - 23:59


Is it time for a „humanitarian Zeitenwende”, and what elements would be essential for this? This is the topic of the CHA annual conference in 2022.

Berlin Thought Leadership Lab

10.11.2022 15:00 - 18:00


The Global Executive Leadership Initiative (GELI) and the Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) invited to an exchange for German Humanitarian CEOs and leading personnel on the topic "Leadership for an Ever-Changing World".

Records, setbacks and reforms - What's the status of German humanitarian assistance?

28.09.2022 17:30 - 19:00


The Federal Government's report on German humanitarian assistance abroad 2018 to 2021 is out. We took critical stock and a constructive look ahead.

Welttag der humanitären Hilfe

World Humanitarian Day



On the occasion of the World Humanitarian Day on August 19, 2022, CHA director Ralf Südhoff gave several interviews and called for a “humanitarian Zeitenwende”.

Open house at the German Federal Foreign Office

20.08.2022 10:00 - 18:00


On 20 and 21 August, the CHA will be present at the Open House of the German Federal Foreign Office - with a stand and at two panel discussions.

Research trip: Perception of German humanitarian action



Starting on 29 June, CHA Director Ralf Südhoff is on a research trip to investigate how German and European humanitarian action are perceived internationally, as well as what profile and potential for improvement is attributed to them.

Foresight Project: The future of humanitarian action


publicationsWith the federal elections in 2021, a change of policy is also imaginable in the area of German foreign policy. Based on four scenarios for future humanitarian action from Germany, which were developed in advance with input from the participants and experts, a workshop was held to work out what effects this could have on German humanitarian action and how humanitarian actors could react together. The findings of the workshop were documented.

Survey: Germany's Humanitarian Engagement



How is the German humanitarian engagement viewed internationally? Participate now in our online survey!

Humanitarian action of the United Nations - to go


publicationsHumanitarian assistance is a core task of the United Nations. In this To Go paper, Sonja Hövelmann explains UN actors, their tasks, funding and challenges. [German]

From Solferino to Ukraine – new warfare, new humanitarian action in the 21st century?

19.05.2022 16:30 - 18:00


Book Launch & Discussion with Dr Hugo Slim, author of “Solferino 21 – Warfare, Civilians and Humanitarians in the 21st Century”

New German foreign policy - new approaches for humanitarian action?

31.03.2022 14:00 - 15:30


At the end of March, the new Federal Government will have completed its first 100 days in office. In view of the current situation we would like to discuss the humanitarian goals of the Federal Government.

Germany and Mali after a troop withdrawal – a chance for principle-guided humanitarian action?



With the announced withdrawal of French troops from Mali, the international situation in the West African country is changing. The German decision on the presence of Bundeswehr soldiers is now pending and can be an opportunity, particularly for principle-guided humanitarian action.[German]

Humanitarian Talk: Quality Funding

23.03.2022 14:00 - 15:00


CHA and NRC invited to a Humanitarian Talk on Quality Funding as part of the European Humanitarian Forum.

Workshop of European Thinktanks

02.03.2022 10:00 - 15:30


At the invitation of CHA and in the framework of the SPreAD Europe project, leading thinktanks from Europe met for a workshop in Berlin in early March.

Options for action for humanitarian organisations after the federal election

16.11.2021 14:00 - 17:00


In this workshop the vision for the future of German humanitarian action will be scaled to the period of the next legislature until 2025 and the scope for action for humanitarian organisations will be defined.

Workshop: German Humanitarian Aid after the Federal Election

14.09.2021 09:00 - 16:30


With the Bundestag elections, a change of policy is conceivable in the area of German foreign policy. Based on four scenarios developed in advance, a workshop will explore what impact this could have on German humanitarian aid.

Time for a Reset? The World Humanitarian Summit and the Grand Bargain, 5 Years On


publicationsThe year 2021 could be an important turning point for global humanitarian aid as well as the Grand Bargain (GB). In the latest CHA publication, Ralf Südhoff and Goda Milasiute analyse what the global initiative has achieved so far, what the German government and civil society have contributed to it and what the challenges are for a possible "GB 2.0".

CHA initiates Anti-Racism Forum



CHA is launching an Anti-Racism Forum. The aim: cross-organisational exchange and joint learning on the topic of anti-racism for staff from German aid organisations. Subscribe to our mailing list now and join in!

CHA @ Bundestag – Five years Grand Bargain



On 3 March 2021, CHA is invited as expert to the public hearing of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid at the German Bundestag to discuss the 5 years of the Grand Bargain. We look forward to participating!


Thinking and Implementing Anti-Racism in Aid Organisations

10.11.2020 10:30 - 18:00


The Centre for Social Inclusion Migration and Participation (ZSIMT) and CHA invite interested employees of German aid organisations to discuss racism in humanitarian aid in a professionally moderated reflection event.

#WorldHumanitarianDay and 5 years "Wir schaffen das": Interview with CHA Director Ralf Südhoff.



On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, CHA Director Ralf Südhoff gave several interviews on German civil and public humanitarian aid. What has the world’s second largest donor achieved? Why is a German Middle East focus justified? We have selected two TV interviews with Deutsche Welle and two radio interviews for you.

Ralf Suedhoff interview

Better strategies for German humanitarian assistance - DW radio interview



Deutsche Welle has interviewed Ralf Südhoff for a broadcast of an English radio show, in which he speaks about the following: Where does German humanitarian assistance stand? What could be Germany’s global role? What do German public & civil actors need to look at? What can think tank CHA contribute to these issues?

Where does German humanitarian assistance stand?


publicationsGermany has positioned itself as the second largest donor country, which is of extremely great value in times of a rapidly growing number of people in need. However, Germany’s financial engagement and its policy and strategy capacities have not grown at the same pace. Staffing as well as structural issues prevent Germany to fulfill its potential as a leading humanitarian actor.

From start-up to global player



On the occasion of the presentation of the new strategy of the German Federal Foreign Office on humanitarian assistance, an article written by CHA director Ralf Südhoff has been published in German daily “Tagesspiegel” on 04/04/2019.

Video: CHA at the Bundestag



CHA director Ralf Südhoff was invited to an expert hearing of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid in the German parliament on 20/03/2019. Seven experts layed out their views on the latest quadrennial report German humanitarian assistance abroad by the German Federal Foreign Office. Watch a video of the hearing here.