Press officer Lukas Kaldenhoff on the funding of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean by the German Federal Foreign Office

23.09.2023. On Monday, 18 September 2023, the German Federal Foreign Office made available the funds the German parliament already agreed upon in 2022 and approved an application to provide financial support to the search and rescue organisation SOS Humanity. Other organisations active in this field will also receive parts of the budget. 700 million euros have been allocated by the German government for humanitarian aid in 2023, SOS Humanity will receive around 790,000 euros.

Lukas Kaldenhoff, spokesperson for SOS Humanity: “Considering that on average one person dies every three hours in the Mediterranean Sea while fleeing, two million euros for search and rescue in this year’s federal budget is more than sobering. They correspond to just 0.3 percent of the German humanitarian aid budget. The politically induced humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean needs a proper response: a European search and rescue programme as well as safe and legal routes for people seeking safety. Instead, Europe is cementing and financing its closed-door policies with 850 million euros for the border protection agency Frontex this year. Criminal actors like the so-called Libyan coast guard and governments that disregard human rights, like Tunisia’s, are supported with millions instead of implementing Europe’s values and saving lives.”

The entire two million euros that were set aside in the federal budget for search and rescue in the Mediterranean for this year were originally supposed to benefit non-governmental search and rescue through the alliance United4Rescue. United4Rescue could then have passed the money on to search and rescue organisations like SOS Humanity. Lukas Kaldenhoff: “Financial support for individual search and rescue organisations does not release the German government from its obligation to implement the goals formulated in the coalition agreement of 2021, such as ‘a state-coordinated and European-supported sea rescue in the Mediterranean’ or a ‘fair distribution of responsibility and competence in reception between EU states’”.


For questions, statements or interviews, please contact:
Press Officer Lukas Kaldenhoff,

Pictures and videos of the Humanity 1 search and rescue operations in 2023 can be found under this link.

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SOS Humanity e.V.
Postbox 440352
D-12003 Berlin
Phone +49 (0) 30 2352 5682


SOS Humanity e.V.

IBAN: DE 0410 0500 0001 9041 8451