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Parliament supports SP proposals for a more social world

4 December 2015

Parliament supports SP proposals for a more social world

As many as three of SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling’s proposals to improve development policy this week won majority support in the ‘Tweede Kamer’ (Second Chamber), the legislature’s equivalent of the House of Commons or House of Representatives. Commenting on the successes, Smaling said: ‘Three proposals relating to emergency aid, health care and education for the very poorest people were adopted. With these proposed measures we’re addressing not only emergency aid in the event of natural disasters, but also two of the root causes of poverty in developing countries.’

Emergency aid in a world plagued by conflicts has unfortunately become structural in nature and is likely to remain so. ‘In the face of floods or earthquakes, such as occurred recently in Nepal, people sometimes become completely isolated from the outside world,’ said Smaling. ‘By developing unarmed drones capable of tracing people in unreachable areas and providing for their elementary basic needs such as blankets, water and food, we’ll be contributing to emergency aid.’

In addition to this proposal to improve emergency aid, Smaling also put forward a proposal aimed at reducing youth unemployment in Africa. ‘We are proposing the establishment of vocational schools for young people so that they can be trained in technical skills and thus enabled to support themselves and make an important contribution to their countries,’ he explained. ‘That will provide work and incomes and thereby eliminate the motivation for migration, including via dangerous journeys over deserts and across seas.’

Finally, Smaling proposed measures to strengthen the health care system in Africa. ‘The Ebola crisis has made it clear that it isn’t possible to react quickly and adequately to a crisis when the broader health care system isn’t functioning satisfactorily,’ he stressed. ‘Without such a well-functioning national system, improving provision of medicines, vaccinations, diagnostic tests, condoms and so on is important, but it isn’t enough. The conclusion is that what we need to do is from next year add at least €1million as a contribution from the Dutch state to the strengthening of that basis.’

For more information, see the SP’s newly adopted development programme, ‘Trading in the colours of the heart’.

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