Dutch allocate EUR 100m for Darfur

27th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 July 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Refusing temporarily to allocate more humanitarian funding on top of the EUR 27.5 million already donated to Sudan, the Netherlands has promised EUR 100 million for the reconstruction of the violence-torn region Darfur.

27 July 2004

AMSTERDAM — Refusing temporarily to allocate more humanitarian funding on top of the EUR 27.5 million already donated to Sudan, the Netherlands has promised EUR 100 million for the reconstruction of the violence-torn region Darfur.

But Overseas Development Minister Agnes van Ardenne also said on Monday night that if it appears in the coming period that Sudan needs more humanitarian funding, the Netherlands will be prepared to meet that need.

Speaking on the radio programme Met het oog op morgen (With an Eye on Tomorrow), Van Ardenne also indicated she was pleased with the contributions of other European countries, which have allocated in total EUR 200 million in humanitarian funding to Darfur.

She said the Netherlands had already done a lot for Sudan and more humanitarian funding was not necessary at present, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. The Dutch will now be concentrating on reconstruction efforts with the Cabinet prepared to allocate EUR 100 million for such efforts.

The Christian Democrat CDA Minister also announced she intended to establish a "group of friends" consisting of several prosperous nations that will guide and assemble funding for the reconstruction of Darfur and the rest of Sudan. Van Ardenne refused to identify which nations she had in mind.

The United Nations claims up to 50,000 people have been killed and about a million have fled their homes in the face of ethnic and religious violence in Darfur. Pro-government Arab militias — Janjaweed — are accused of ethnic cleansing, and the UN says food, water and medicines are running low in refugee camps.

But Van Ardenne refused to say that genocide is being committed in the eastern African nation and instead said investigations must first be conducted to determine the extent of the "catastrophe".

Van Ardenne was speaking after the EU met on Monday in Brussels and issued a warning to Sudan, threatening it will call for the UN to take further action if the situation in Darfur has not improved within three months.

Speaking as EU President, Dutch Foreign Minister refused to give details on the types of sanctions the EU would urge the UN to take, but said he was prepared to personally visit Darfur in coming months to investigate whether the situation is improving.

[Copyright Novum Nieuws 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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