Dutch minister: development aid for just 10 countries
Deputy Foreign Minister Ben Knapen says he’d like to reduce the number of countries in receipt of regular Dutch development aid from the present 36 to just 10. In a recent letter, the minister said he wanted to reduce the number of development aid partner countries to 16. However, during a parliamentary debate on the issue on Monday, he admitted that he “secretly” was thinking in terms of just 10 countries. He believes a smaller group of partner countries would stimulate keener choices, greater development of expertise and a better division of tasks.
He said he did not intend to follow the advice of Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam Freedom Party PVV which has suggested aid be cut to Islamic countries such as Sudan, Yemen and Pakistan. The PVV has also called for development aid for Suriname to be stopped now that Desi Bouterse, who has been sentenced by a Dutch court for drugs trafficking, has become its president.
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