Netherlands criticized for underfunding global poverty reduction

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No image availableNL Times

The Netherlands’ economic contribution for development cooperation has been labelled an embarrassment by Oxfam Novib according to a calculation done by the organization. The calculation has revealed that the Netherlands is no longer meeting the UN’s spending target, 0.7 percent of the country’s GDP, for poverty reduction, the Volkskrant reported on Thursday.

The assertion was supported by another NGO, Cordaid, which accused the government of "plundering" the foreign development aid budget for the reception of refugees. Cordaid said this is not a foreign development issue.

The government is being criticized for talks on greater reception of refugees rather than structural investment to combat conditions that lead to people fleeing their homelands and seeking asylum elsewhere.

Organisations fear that at next weekend’s UN Summit in New York, the Netherlands will release figures that will leave much to be desired. Peter Ras from Oxfam Novib says that Minister Ploumen has worked hard to create new goals but has no money to back them up. Ras wondered what kind of signal this will be sending, particularly as the Netherlands committed to meeting the goal before conservative Prime Minister Mark Rutte took office in 2010.

Rutte will join King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, and foreign development aid minister Lillianne Ploumen at the talks in the United States.