April 15, 2022 – 4:55 p.m. look
The war in Ukraine is not only having profound consequences for Europe – by stopping grain deliveries, the war is also aggravating the hunger crisis, especially in West Africa. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) therefore traveled to Mali and Niger, where hunger will intensify in the coming months. She promises help on the spot – and comes up with funny and quirky scenes when she lends a hand in a village.
Annalena Baerbock carries the burden of women in Niger – for a few minutes
While visiting an agricultural project in Ouallam in Niger, Baerbock can see how fruits and vegetables are transported locally. When the outside temperature can reach 50 degrees, the women carry their loads in buckets fixed to a wooden post. Baerbock wants to know exactly – and without further ado, such a bar is placed around his neck so that he can feel the load on his own shoulders. She visibly collapses from the weight and soon after has to laugh to herself.
Praise and recognition for Annalena Baerbock
This closeness is welcomed by the women of Ouallam – and not only there. The image of Baerbock with the carrying bar on his shoulders spread quickly on Twitter. SPD politician Sawsan Chebli praised “your courage, your authenticity, your clear position” within the ranks of the coalition. “[…] Please never hide your wife and motherhood,” the SPD politician continues.
Baerbock presents itself here as approachable, warm and relaxed – some might call it clever staging. But even with the opposition, the minister is doing well for her looks. “It must be admitted without envy that Annalena Baerbock succeeded in shaping a new style in the Federal Foreign Office. Really good!”, wrote the president of the Junge Union, Tilman Kuban, also on Twitter.
Baerbock promises new crisis aid to Niger and the Sahel region
But Baerbock didn’t just come to Niger for media photos. In her speech in the Nigerian capital, Niamey, she said: “Terrorism, climate and food crises – these are all global crises, clustering here in dramatic fashion.” The climate crisis means concretely in the Sahel region “Suffering, Hunger and displacement”.
38 million people are expected to go hungry in West Africa in the coming months – three times as many as three years ago, Baerbock said. “We see what’s coming for you and therefore what’s coming for us as a world.” The Minister assured: “We will not leave you alone with this. The federal government recently earmarked an additional €50 million for humanitarian aid to the Sahel region and an additional €50 million for development cooperation. (vdö/dpa)