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Monday, 05 March 2012

Dutch development aid budget cuts to help make 'drastic savings'

According to an article published by Radio Netherlands Worldwide, the Dutch development aid budget may face cuts. As the deficit for next year is expected to rise, the government may make “drastic savings”. Accordingly, a recent opinion poll shows that 80% of Dutch citizens would prefer reducing the development aid budget to 0.6 percent of GNP.
As stated in the article: “It’s now at 0.7 percent, the European norm for the level of development aid. The Netherlands has traditionally spent more than that, but Mr Rutte’s cabinet [current Dutch coalition cabinet formed by the political parties People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA)] has already slashed nearly a billion euros off the development aid budget. The question is no longer whether the aid budget will be cut again, but by how much. Geert Wilders’ populist Freedom Party, whose support keeps the minority cabinet in power, wants development aid cut altogether. It advocates giving only emergency rather than development aid because ‘development aid appears in practice just to mean channelling money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries’ ”.
The Dutch development aid budget is at present just over four billion euros, with half the money going directly to governments in poor countries. The rest goes to NGOs and organisations such as the United Nations and the EU.

Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide