But not 'Palestine'?
Four Dutch NGO's - including the local branch of Oxfam - are laying off significant portions of their staff
. But note where their activities are being cut back: In countries like Sudan and Rwanda where such activities are critical. Note where they're not being cut back: In 'Palestine' or 'Palestinian territories' where they're more political advocacy than humanitarian (Hat Tip: Mike P
Minister Lilianne Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development
Cooperation announced the cuts earlier this year. From January 1st 2016
the development aid organizations will be losing more than 80 percent of
their government subsidy, going from about 50 million euros per year to
between 7 and 15 million euros per year.
The Minister wants to limit subsidies to initiatives that helps
people in third world countries defend their rights – something she
calls “lobbying and advocacy”. She therefore largely stopped the subsidy
for normal development, such as helping small farmers in Africa break
into the local market. She called the cuts “painful”. But according to
Ploumen, the world has changed and the importance of official
development funds for the development of a country is decreasing. “It is
also no longer the only funding stream”, she said when she presented
the new policy, according to the Volkskrant. “Businesses now contribute
in many ways. The concept of development aid will eventually disappear.”
This translates into layoffs for the four large development aid
organizations. Hivos will be laying off 50 of its 145 employees at the
Dutch office, Oxfam Novib will be laying off about 75 of its 325,
Cordaid 69 of its 250 and Icco will lose 175 of its 350 employees. The
organizations will also stop funding to projects all over the world next
year. Hivos will be withdrawing support from, among others, a project
to stop female genital mutilation in Iraqi Kurdistan – a project that is
internationally regarded as successful. Icco is withdrawing from South
Africa, Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Oxfam Novib is stopping all
initiatives in Bangladesh, Rwanda, Sudan and Zimbabwe.
According to the four development aid organizations, focusing only on
lobbying and advocacy is a risky strategy. “You only have legitimacy to
lobby and advocate for something if you’re already active in the
place”, Marinus Verweij, director of Icco, said to the Volkskrant.
“Otherwise it is not credible.”
Priorities, man, priorities!
Labels: Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, humanitarian aid, Iraqi Kurds, NGO funding, NGO's, Oxfam, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Zimbabwe