Germany Suspends Tsunami Aid to Sri Lanka, Conditions Resumption on New Peace Efforts

Germany’s Minister for Development Cooperation, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, announced that Berlin has decided to freeze its aid to Sri Lanka, given the spiraling violence between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels. The decision reflects the fact that the renewed conflict has halted much of the post-tsunami reconstruction work, and that much of German aid, particularly in Tamil, rebel-held areas, was not reaching the intended beneficiaries. In 2005, Germany had pledged $647 million in aid over three years to the various tsunami-affected countries. Wieczorek-Zeul encouraged other donors to suspend their aid and make further flows of assistance dependent on a resumption of peace efforts.