Asylum foundation waste of funds

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An organisation tasked with facilitating the voluntary repatriation of former asylum seekers has little to show for its efforts, according to a letter sent from Immigration Minister Gerd Leers and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ben Knapen to parliament on Wednesday. The government has decided to cut funding to the Foundation for Safe Return SDT as a result.

The report on the foundation was scathing and concluded that not even a handful of extra former asylum seekers had been helped back to their country of origin. SDT was created as a helpdesk, tasked with assisting asylum seekers with organising work, extra training or the paperwork needed for setting up their own company.

The foundation was established in February 2010 as a two-year pilot and received a 4.5 million-euro subsidy in its first year. SDT is a consortium, which partnered with nine Dutch bodies active in the field of asylum, refugees and immigration, including the Dutch Refugee Council Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland and the International Organisation for Migration.

It was agreed that the group would be evaluated after the first year to monitor its performance, which, an investigation concluded, was nothing short of dismal.

Minister Leers and Duputy Minister Knapen will continue to support former refugees who want to build a new future in their home of origin. In the long run, it’s cheaper than providing for them in the Netherlands.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide  

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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