“The scale of the floods in Pakistan is far greater than initially thought,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.
“We must now fear there will be up to 20 million people who are affected.”
The two ministers also called on Germans to make private donations to help victims displaced by the devastating floods, which began in late July with heavy monsoon rains. More than 2,000 people are estimated to have been killed, while countless homes and crops have been destroyed across the country.
Earlier this week, the German Red Cross (DRK) said that willingness to donate among Germans had begun to increase after a slow start, but President Christian Wulff told broadcaster ARD on Wednesday night this was still insufficient.
“Valid criticism should not be made at the expense of those suffering,” he said, referring to reoccurring friction between Pakistan’s government and the international community.
“It’s about raw survival,” he added, saying children are the most vulnerable in this situation.
German churches also appealed for donations on Thursday. The head of Germany’s Protestant churches, Bishop Nikolaus Schneider, and the leader of the Catholic Church, Robert Zollitsch, made a joint statement calling for speedy contributions.
The religious leaders asked for believers to remember the command of charity, “that the many people whose life and limb are in acute danger, and whose chances for a future threaten to sink into the floods, are helped swiftly and comprehensively.”