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Germany to hike food aid by €10 million

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Germany to hike food aid by €10 million
Photo: DPA
12:11 CEST+02:00
German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul has announced Berlin will contribute an extra €10 million to the World Food Programme to stave off a looming crisis in developing nations.

"Normally we finance the program with €23 million, and we made an additional €3 million available in March, to which we're now adding another €10 million," she told German daily Berliner Zeitung on Tuesday.

The growing food problems must be addressed by both the international donors and the countries that have been effected by food shortages and price increases, Wieczorek-Zeul went on. "This crisis should be a motivation to finally dispose of agricultural export subsidies. They are a hindrance and disincentive for farmers in developing nations," she told the paper.

But German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück has rejected Wieczorek-Zeul's budget plans, to which she indirectly commented that such a rejection was against the values of his own party, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and measures against the food crisis and climate change must be a budget priority.

"If that's not done, it will have social and security policy consequences. Either we finance preventative measures or we must later pay billions to cover damages," she said.

Wieczorek-Zeul also told the paper that it's important to see how the issue relates to other government budget needs since development aid accounts for 1.5 percent of Germany's budget: "Some people might ask, 'They bailed out the big companies with €5 billion, so why won't they spend €700 million to fight poverty and hunger?'"

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