Berlin designates tsunami relief as aid

17th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

17 January 2005 , BERLIN - Germany aims to designate a large portion of the EUR 500 million it has pledged as relief support for the tsunami-hit Asian region as official development assistance (ODA), a Berlin spokeswoman confirmed. The spokeswoman in the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development confirmed a report about the plans in the Berliner Zeitung newspaper. She said that such a procedure is permissible under Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines. By designat

17 January 2005

BERLIN - Germany aims to designate a large portion of the EUR 500 million it has pledged as relief support for the tsunami-hit Asian region as official development assistance (ODA), a Berlin spokeswoman confirmed.

The spokeswoman in the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development confirmed a report about the plans in the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.

She said that such a procedure is permissible under Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines.

By designating the tsunami relief support as ODA, Germany would be taking a major step in its aim to boost the share of development aid as part of the gross domestic product (GDP). Berlin's ODA is now 0.28 percent of GDP, with the aim to boost this to 0.33 percent by 2006.

Meanwhile the weekly Der Spiegel in its latest issue reported that Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer wants Germany to maintain a fleet of large-sized air cargo planes so as to be able to respond better in the future to catastrophes such as the tsunami disaster.

The magazine cited members of Fischer's Greens party as saying at an internal meeting last week that the Americans had been able to respond "much faster" than Germany to the tsunami catastrophe because they had more air equipment available.

Berlin had problems trying to find large air cargo planes to lease on a market which had been "swept clean", Fischer was cited as telling his party after his return from a visit to the Asian disaster areas last week.

Fischer proposed that Germany permanently lease planes "at the national level" until 2009 when the new Airbus A400M military cargo plane will become available. He said he favoured the McDonnell Douglas C-17 cargo plane for the interim period.

A Defence Ministry spokesman confirmed Saturday that there was a shortage of air cargo planes after the tsunami disaster and that the German air force in the future would have to lease air freighters.

"We're going to have to see how we can bridge the period until 2009," the spokesman said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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