Monday 13 July 2020

Spending on refugees is eating the Dutch aid budget

Lilianne PloumenOver 25% of the Dutch government’s 2015 development aid budget is being spent on refugees, rather than helping the world’s poorest people, the Volkskrant says on Friday.

Aid minister Lilianne Ploumen told MPs on Thursday that spending on dealing with the surge in refugees is reducing the amount of cash available for aid work overseas.

According to the Volkskrant, €836m has been taken from the €4bn aid budget to spend on accommodation and services for 40,000 refugees this year. Each additional refugee costs €25,000 a year and the government expects the total to reach 58,000 by the end of December.

This means that in total, 27% of the aid budget will go on refugees, the Volkskrant says.

The Netherlands has already reduced its aid budget below the 0.7% of GDP recommended by the UN. By 2018, this will have fallen to 0.5%, Ploumen said.

However, with a large percentage of that going on refugees in the Netherlands, even less is available to help the world’s poorest people, aid organisations say. The minister plans to discuss the issue during Friday’s cabinet meeting.

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