World Peace Day 2016

“You may forget where you buried the peace-pipe, but no one ever forgets where the hatchet is buried”.

(Mark Twain)

When we started to save refugees 37 years ago, the number of worldwide refugees, as estimated by the United Nations, was 10 million. At the end of 2015, UN’s high commissioner assumed 63,5 million people to be on the run, more than ever before.

Wars in particular, but also hunger, poverty as well as hate and hope are what forces people to leave their homes. Their journeys are often determined by dreadful experiences and many only find long-term peace in foreign countries after several generations or when their desolate homeland has been reconstructed again.

For us at Cap Anamur, these are not just shocking figures, but human beings who are injured in terms of mental and physical health and who are in urgent need of our help. Living in such a rich country like Germany, we actually should apologize to them when considering the following:

  1. In 1970, the wealthy nations promised the UN in Nairobi to make 0,7 percent of their gross national product (GNP) available for development assistance. Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands have been keeping this promise for many years now. In contrast, contributions from Germany never exceeded 0,49 percent, which currently corresponds to 7,4 billion euro.

  2. The NATO asks each and every one of its members to maintain a military budget of 2 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). In the case of Germany, this would mean 66 billion Euro instead of the 39 billion Euro they are currently paying. The discrepancy with regard to contributions made for development assistance is remarkable.

  3. With its trade surplus as one of the world’s leading export nations, Germany negatively affects poorer countries and therefore contributes to the injustice in the world.

  4. This year we once again moved up to being the third largest arms export nation. By now, German weapons are to find at all battlegrounds in the world and among all warring parties.

Since its foundation, Cap Anamur has tried to stand up to the injustice and misery in 64 countries throughout the world with weapons of humanity. We have tried to give hope and peace a chance. Our German and international aid workers on site experience the misery close while voluntarily putting themselves in danger. They experience the despicable gap between prosperity here and poverty and existential fear there.

In Syria, Afghanistan, Central Africa, Sudan and Ukraine we are seeing belligerent acts of destruction in law and order, security and safety. Our work is meant to give hope and courage to remain there or to return home.

On the occasion of World Peace Day, a statement from General Dwight D. Eisenhower, post-war president of the United States of America:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children”.

Without doubt, on World Peace Day 2016 the world’s situation appears to be fretful. Cap Anamur, however, will undauntedly continue its work!

Please continue to support our work with your donation. Every contribution counts.



Werner Strahl
paediatrician and chairman of Cap Anamur