Aid group turns its attention to poverty at home

Development aid group Cordaid is to begin an active campaign against poverty in the Netherlands based on its experience in Afghanistan and the Congo.

The aim is to help the unemployed poor into work and out of their social isolation. The first projects will be in The Hague, Breda and the Arnhem-Nijmegen region.

‘Over the past 20 years, the number of people living in poverty has risen from 4% to 10%,’ Cordaid’s Kristal Ashra told the Volkskrant. ‘As an international organisation that helps fight poverty, we cannot shut our eyes to what is happening in our own backyard.’


In Breda, Cordaid will help small enterprises set up by people who use their unemployment benefit to get started. In Arnhem or Nijmegen, a food market will be set up where the organisation will provide support and expertise to local farmers supplying produce. Unemployed poor people will be offered work experience on the stalls.

However, Lei Delsen, economics professor at the Radboud university in Nijmegen questions the move. ‘There is a risk of unfair competition,’ he told the Volkskrant. ‘Small food shops run by people who work hard to earn just above the poverty level will be disadvantaged.’


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