Parliament supports limits on cuts to funds for fight against Aids

15 December 2009

Parliament supports limits on cuts to funds for fight against Aids

Parliament today adopted a proposed amendment to the budget which will limit any cut to Dutch state funding for the UN organisation to combat Aids. The proposal was an initiative from SP Member of Parliament Ewout Irrgang, together with MPs from the Christian Democrats, two small Christian parties, and the centrist D66.

Minister for Development Cooperation Bert Koenders wanted to cut funding to UNAIDS, the UN organisation charged with combating HIV/Aids, by 9 million euros. Many of the parties represented in Parliament did not agree with this, on the grounds that the fight against Aids provides a good example of successful aid. Today’s amendment reduces the funding cut by half.

“The best cut would of course have been a cut of zero, but it remains a good thing that Parliament has reduced it as much as possible. Because the costs of the proposal will be covered by the suspension of budgetary aid to Senegal, this is an exceptional victory for the SP. We argued for this recently as a response to enormous corruption in Senegal and the reprehensible role it has played in neighbouring Guinea. Development aid comes from taxpayers’money and we must therefore ensure that it is spent effectively. This shows that we mean business.”

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