The Netherlands government has said it supports the groundbreaking concept of forecast-based financing, intended to facilitate humanitarian action before disaster strikes and now being piloted in several African countries and planned for others worldwide.
The Netherlands becomes the second country after Germany to back the concept; other donor governments such as the US and the UK have also shown interest in the programmes being developed by the Red Cross in Ethiopia, Togo and Uganda, with technical support from the German Red Cross and the Climate Centre.
Continuing violence by ISIS in recent months has created a large new flow of displaced persons. Over eight million people are in acute need of food, medicine and shelter. The Netherlands is therefore donating an extra €4 million to the UN for humanitarian aid.
The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, said, ‘The terror caused by ISIS, the refugee flows and the shortages of necessities have combined to create a grave emergency. This extra support is desperately needed.’
Today, Ministers Lilianne Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) and Melanie Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure and the Environment) signed an agreement with the Bangladesh government and the World Bank Group, focusing on the sustainable protection of Bangladesh against flooding, and ensuring a sufficient supply of clean drinking water and improving sanitation. In addition, the Netherlands and Bangladesh will join forces in the fields of land reclamation and port development.
Once again, Dutch water experts are being deployed abroad to advise on flood prevention. This time in Colombia, where disastrous floods recently hit the province of Antioquia. Development cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen said, ‘In the Netherlands we have unique expertise on this subject, not only in the business community but also in research institutes and at government level. This means we can work effectively wherever the need occurs.'
Asylum decisions in the EU
Syrians remain the main beneficiaries
The 27 EU Member States for which data are available granted protection status to 185 000 asylum seekers in 2014, up by almost 50% compared with 2013. Since 2008, more than 750 000 asylum seekers have been granted protection status in the EU.
These data on the results of asylum decisions in the EU are released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
More than 1 out of 3 persons granted protection status in the EU was Syrian
Two weeks after the devastating earthquake, Nepal remains in a state of unimaginably acute need. At least eight million people in the country are reliant on UN aid. According to the UN, a total of USD 415 million is needed for food, medicines, tents and toilets. The Netherlands is responding with an extra EUR 5 million in emergency aid.
Foreign minister Bert Koenders is earmarking €3 million this year for the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), which works to clear landmines worldwide. Mr Koenders made the announcement while in New York, where he visited an interactive exhibition on demining.
‘Landmines tear communities apart. People are no longer able to use large areas of their living environment due to fear of explosions. Every day eight people – half of whom are children – are killed by landmines. Landmines also kill cattle; this has a negative economic impact,’ Mr Koenders said.
The Netherlands is sending a team of experts to southern Asia to assist in search and rescue efforts following Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal. The decision was taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in consultation with the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Security and Justice, in response to a request for assistance made by the Nepalese government and the United Nations. Nepal, in southern Asia, was struck Saturday by the most severe earthquake in over 80 years. There are more than 2,000 confirmed fatalities so far and extensive material damage.
Soon, Dutch expertise will save tens of tons of refugees in Bentiu, South Sudan, from having to wade through ankle-high mud. In the rainy season their camp becomes a quagmire, causing already low living standards to worsen. Following trade and development minister Lilianne Ploumen’s visit to South Sudan last autumn, a team of hydraulic engineers – led by the consultancy firm Grontmij – has drawn up a plan to improve the situation. ‘What we’re doing in Bentiu is an excellent example of the added value of Dutch knowledge and expertise,’ said Ms Ploumen.
On Sunday, during her visit to Jordan, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen discussed a different approach to humanitarian aid, which aims to make assistance provided to Syrian refugees future-proof. ‘There is no solution in sight for the crisis in Syria. For the time being, neighbouring countries will have to continue to take in refugees,’ said the minister.
Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan | | Sunday 3/29/2015 - 16:23 GMT
The Dutch city of Amsterdam on Sunday donated 500 second-hand bicycles for Syrian refugees to use in the huge Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan.
The Netherlands foreign trade minister, Lilianne Ploumen, handed over the bikes to representatives of aid agencies working in the sprawling desert camp, the size of a city in its own right.
The government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has announced that it will make a financial contribution of EUR 500,000 to help the people of Vanuatu. The island state in the Pacific Ocean was hit hard by cyclone Pam on Friday, which has caused great devastation.
Minister Lilianne Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation): 'It is important for emergency assistance to be at the site as soon as possible. Many people have lost everything because of the cyclone. There is a feeling of great desperation.'
UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl made his first official visit in office to The Hague on 5 March to discuss the cooperation between UNRWA and the Netherlands, and the current situation in UNRWA's Fields of operation. Mr. Krähenbühl met with Mr. Bert Koenders, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and members of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament.
Foreign minister Bert Koenders has earmarked an additional €3.5 million for the monitoring mission being conducted by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in eastern Ukraine. The OSCE has deployed the monitors to see to it that the Ukrainian army and the rebels comply with the ceasefire agreed in Minsk on 12 February.
3 March, Jakarta - The Indonesian and Dutch government today launch a comprehensive five-year multi million public-private partnership initiative for enhancing coastal safety at the North Coast of Java. It aims to build stable coastlines with reduced erosion risk through a unique integration of mangrove restoration, small scale hard-engineering and sustainable land use.
“THE CURSE OF THE WAR FOLLOWS ME…” AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SPEAKS TO A SYRIAN MAN WHO WAS RESETTLED IN THE NETHERLANDS AFTER FLEEING SYRIA IN 2012.
Speaking in Berlin today, foreign trade and development cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen will express her appreciation and support for the work of Gavi – the vaccination alliance that runs major programmes in numerous developing countries. In her address to the Gavi Pledging Conference, her message will be clear: ‘Gavi is saving millions of lives, especially those of women and children. The results speak for themselves.
The Netherlands will continue to support the UN peace process for the Great Lakes Region in Africa. In early January the deadline expired for the disarmament of the Hutu rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in eastern DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Foreign minister Bert Koenders and development minister Lilianne Ploumen today met with Said Djinnit, UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, to discuss how to best deal with the FDLR.
‘Turkey is playing a key role in providing shelter to refugees from Syria. What I’ve seen here today and what I saw last month during my visit to Jordan and Iraq have made a deep impression on me.’