Dutch give extra EUR 200m to tsunami aid
11 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government allocated a further EUR 200 million on Tuesday to the reconstruction of the nations hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami. The government in The Hague has urged other nations to increase their foreign aid budgets.
11 January 2005
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government allocated a further EUR 200 million on Tuesday to the reconstruction of the nations hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami. The government in The Hague has urged other nations to increase their foreign aid budgets.
Overseas Development Minister Agnes van Ardenne made the announcement in Geneva, where about 250 nations gathered under the watch of the United Nations to discuss aid packages for the tsunami-hit nations.
"The disaster is terrible and the human suffering is unimaginable. But via emergency relief, reconstruction and our long-term development relationship with Indonesia and Sri Lanka we can offer some prospects to the survivors of the ocean earthquake," the Dutch minister said.
The funds will be made available over the coming five years and will be directed towards the restoration of roads and water supplies, the Dutch government website regering.nl said.
But Van Ardenne also urged other donors not to allow the cost of humanitarian efforts in the tsunami-hit nations to negatively impact efforts in other regions. The minister called on other nations to increase their overseas development budgets.
She said the disaster presented the opportunity to make an international agreement stipulating that nations allocate at least 0.7 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to overseas development.
The Netherlands currently allocates 0.8 percent of its GDP to overseas development and had previously allocated EUR 40 million to emergency aid in the disaster area, which extends from Indonesia to Somalia.
Meanwhile, former Dutch prime minister and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers also urged the world's nations not to forget the victims in other disaster-stricken areas.
He said the donations offered by members of the public should be allocated to the victims of the tsunami, asserting that national governments should focus on humanitarian aid in other areas such as Darfur in Sudan, Burundi and the Congo.
The total amount of money donated by the Dutch public to Giro 555 will be made known on Wednesday. After the intensely-watched TV campaign last week, the total stood at EUR 112 million.
Some 35 Dutch nationals are still listed as "difficult to trace" and were possibly staying in the regions hit by the massive tidal waves on 26 December. A further 30 Dutch nationals are listed as missing and are presumed dead. Eight bodies have been officially identified.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news