The 4.2 billion euros the Netherlands invested in development aid last year gave millions of people in developing countries something to eat, something to drink or a job.
Dutch development aid money is being to pay fines for Palestinian farmers so that they can retrieve equipment seized by the Israeli army. This practice has been going on for years.
The four largest Dutch development aid organizations - Oxfam Novib, Icco, Hivos and Cordaid - will be laying off between a quarter and half of their employees due to budget cuts. They will also be withdrawing from a number of countries in which they are currently active
On Thursday afternoon Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and the richest man in the world, visited Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Hague. Gates planned to call on Rutte to increase the Dutch budget for development aid, which the government had made cuts on.
The government plans to stimulate job opportunities with a 500 million euro tax cut. The money will be used to reduce the rates of the firs income tax bracket so that everyone paying income tax will benefit.
The Cabinet, due to a new accounting calculation method that increases the scope of the economy, is going to spend €500 million on development aid this year.
A new European algorithm will mean that The Netherlands will spend more money next year on payments to the European Union and development aid, and will make the scope of the Dutch economy a lot bigger than previously calculated.
The Netherlands is demanding that Tanzania pay back € 25,000 that had been part of a grant, but was misused in the east African nation. Financieel Dagblad reports today that civil servants used the money to “purchase expensive vehicles and for excessive per diems”. The Foreign Ministry has confirmed the claim.