Dutch Government Cuts Funding for Cordaid, NGO Involved in Palestine

6 01 2011

From the Palestine News Network:

The Hague – PNN – The Dutch Non-governmental Organization (NGO) Catholic Organization for Development Cooperation, or Cordaid, became the latest victim of both the European trend toward austerity and a rightward leaning Dutch government when it saw its government funding cut by 42% over the last two months.

The latest cut, of 12%, was enacted on December 28, adding on to the 30% cut passed by the Dutch parliament on November 30. Cordaid, which receives government money and devotes much of its efforts to reducing structural poverty by funding development projects in places such as Palestine, was just one of many groups affected by the slashing of Dutch international aid caused by the economic downturn. As a result of the cuts, the number of Dutch “partner countries” will be halved from 33 to 16.

Cordaid organizers in Palestine, however, believe the new right-wing government of the Netherlands also targeted Cordaid specifically for its Palestinian connections.

[…]

The foreign policy agenda of the new Dutch government depends upon its makeup—and right now, the kingmaker is the Freedom Party of right-wing extremist Geert Wilders, who must be consulted on most decisions cast by the ruling coalition of the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats. Wilders is fervently anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant, having proposed a headscarf tax and a ban on immigration from Muslim countries.

“Wilders promotes ‘no money into the Third World,’” said Kosterman, “and especially no money into Muslim countries. He doesn’t believe in it.”

Read the rest.

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