Van Dijk: Invest Business Fund money in education

27 November 2013

Van Dijk: Invest Business Fund money in education

Invest the money from the Business Fund in education in developing countries. This proposal came from Jasper van Dijk during Wednesday’s debate on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. ‘Minister Lilianne Ploumen’s Business fund is a failed prestige project,’ said Van Dijk. ‘There are major doubts as to its usefulness, and the money threatens to be left in the bank. That’s why I’m proposing that it should be spent on education, because this would clearly contribute to progress in poor countries.’

Jasper van DijkPloumen’s Business Fund comes down to an export promotion fund. It’s primarily aimed at supporting Dutch businesses in poorer countries. ‘This shows that Ploumen, a Labour Party minister in the coalition government, is nevertheless following the centre-right policies of her party’s partners. Trade is a good thing, but promoting firms should be financed from the economic affairs budget, not the development cooperation budget, from which €2 billion has been cut since 2010.’

Van Dijk’s proposal would syphon €50 million from the so-called Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The GPE concerns itself with education, in particular primary education, in low income countries and fragile states. Attention is also paid to infant mortality and to the education of girls. Recent years have seen the budget greatly decreased while demands have grown.’

The Dutch government has ceased making a priority of education in its development policy. ‘That’s completely stupid, given that education is the way to self-reliance. Without education there’s no chance for young people and you’re mopping the floor without mending the leak.’

You are here