The Netherlands is allocating an extra €290m a year for emergency aid and the protection of refugees in areas close to their homes, aid minister Sigrid Kaag has told MPs.
In addition, a further €130m a year will go into education for refugee children and to help countries where refugees are able to build up new lives, Kaag said in her briefing.
The strategy, the minister said, sees ‘development aid as an integral part of foreign policy, focused on combating the causes of poverty, migration, terror and climate change.’
The aid will be concentrated on a number of focus regions: The Sahel, the Horn of Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. ‘Greater efforts to boost stability, reduce poverty and promote economic growth that benefits everyone are also an investment in combating irregular migration and the human suffering that accompanies it,’ Kaag said.
The strategy also includes a proactive trade and investment agenda, designed to help ensure that significantly more small and medium-sized enterprises, including startups, become active internationally, the minister said.
‘A greater focus on prevention is desperately needed,’ Kaag said. ‘Greater efforts now will mean less human suffering in the future, and it will save billions in emergency aid, reception in the region of origin and reconstruction. That’s better for the world and better for the Netherlands.’