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Lobby & Advocacy News

Many reactions and media following appeal by Members of Parliament

On 9 May, we sent our appeal to Members of Parliament. In it, we indicate that it is highly unwise that the cabinet wants to cut back on addressing root causes of conflict, climate change, poverty and emergency relief. We call on the Tweede Kamer to reverse these cuts. We also shared a press release on behalf of the sector, which more than 80 directors have now signed. The call has been widely shared and in the news. Below, we have collected various media articles.

30 June 2023

Cabinet cuts hit poorest people worldwide

Billions of euros earmarked for development cooperation and emergency aid are spent by the government in the Netherlands. The Voorjaarsnota (Spring Memorandum) shows that in the coming years, 3.4 billion euros will be cut from the budget for international poverty reduction and emergency aid. That is why over 100 development organisations are calling for the reversal of these cuts and a ceiling on asylum costs paid from the development budget.

Read the press release

30 June 2023: NRC -Migration deal takes shape: less likely to get a permanent residence permit, promising asylum seeker to work sooner – This Migration Deal piece also cites the budget: “The automatic link between the costs of asylum reception and development cooperation is also under discussion in the cabinet: in the current budget system, part of the OS money goes to asylum reception in the Netherlands if the costs for this rise sharply. D66 and ChristenUnie want a solution to this […]. According to a coalition source, “several financial variants” are on the table to solve this, for example, a fixed amount for asylum reception per year to avoid fluctuations in the OS budget.”

15 June 2023: Opzij – Dutch feminist foreign policy: paper reality or practice? Laila Ait Baali, director WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform, writes in the Opzij about the Feminist Foreign Policy. The Netherlands recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, but this policy is now mainly a paper reality and not yet practised. Laila Ait Baali calls on the government to show what that means: or put your money where your mouth is. But the recently announced €3.4 billion cuts in development cooperation are diametrically opposed to this.

14 June 2023:  De Groene Amsterdammer – A destitute department – A critical piece on why development money in The Hague always evaporates. Tax or cut? The Lower House was sitting on that age-old question. One decision was certain in advance: the development cooperation pot could be plundered effortlessly. Basically as always. A nice background article on the influence of religious leaders on the CDA, and the interaction between Kaag and Schreinemacher.

12 June 2023:  Radioprogramma Spraakmakers: Julie Verhaar, director Terre des Hommes, is a guest on Spraakmakers radio. There are agreements to eliminate child labour by 2025. She also talks about child labour in Europe and, for example, children as young as 5 years old in the Mica mines in Madagascar. also cites austerity here. Listen to the episode here. From 1:10:40, Julie Verhaar is speaking. From 1:25:00, she also cites that austerity is not helping the lives of these children.

9 June 2023: Reformatorisch Dagblad – Don’t play asylum seeker and our distant neighbour off against each other – Senbete Shalla, Ethiopia. Aleppo, Syria. Ter Apel, Netherlands. An odd list at first glance. However, the Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation (BHOS) budget has been set aside for all these places. SGP Youth is concerned about the shift taking place within it.

8 June 2023: Nederlands Dagblad – Budgetary poldering is a typically Dutch solution: but benefits do not cancel out later costs – An editorial by Herman Veenhof. He looks back at the debate on the Voorjaarsnota (Spring Memorandum), with an oblique look at the 50th anniversary of our member Woord & Daad. The polder proposal by CU, D66 and CDA is a cash shift. It is cleverly conceived but does not solve two problems: how does the Netherlands manage the influx of asylum seekers? And how is more development money better used? Whatever budget Development Cooperation has, measured against what goes on in our still stone-rich country, is embarrassingly low.

7 June 2023: Nederlands Dagblad – Divided coalition comes up with a plan to save development aid and sweep cuts off the table after all – After much wrangling within the coalition, there is now a plan to reverse the cuts in development cooperation for the time being. On Thursday, the House of Representatives will discuss the Spring Memorandum, the amended budget for 2023. A motion by the Christian Union, D66 and the CDA proposes a so-called ‘cash shift’.

6 June 2023: Nederlands Dagblad – Who is responsible for development cooperation cuts? The citizen or the government? The government plans to cut 3.4 billion from the budget for international poverty reduction and emergency aid in the coming years. Citizens elect the government, but for years it has been investing less in the average Dutchman’s so-called ‘global citizenship’. Meanwhile, the government points to a decline in support for development cooperation among those citizens. It seems to be a question: who was there before, the chicken or the egg?

6 June 2023: AD –BN’ers angry: billions of euros not to Africa, but to asylum shelters in the Netherlands – Pim Kraan, director Save the Children, finds it “morally inexplicable” and illogical “When we ask refugees why they travelled to Europe from a refugee camp after all, they often say: because there was no education for our children. And then you are going to cut money used to provide education in refugee camps? While you want fewer people to come to Europe?”

6 June 2023: Parool – 3.5 billion euros of development money goes to asylum shelters in the Netherlands: ‘Morally inexplicable’ BN’ers, religious leaders and development workers are unanimous: it is ‘immoral’ to use the billions earmarked for aid to Africa now to combat the asylum crisis in the Netherlands, as the cabinet plans. Opposition is also growing in the House of Representatives.

6 June 2023: Trouw en AD – Malieveld fills up after development cooperation cuts**The headline is bogus. It is not the case that earthquake victims, or people without food due to prolonged drought, will revolt in The Hague. Not even if our cabinet decides to cut development, poverty reduction and emergency aid by up to EUR 3.4 billion in the coming years. Therefore our appeal: let the budget for development cooperation do what it is supposed to do: develop. And ensure that people can work towards a hopeful future. Precisely where it is needed, in the most vulnerable countries. Invest in this. Development works. Giving up does not.

5 June 2023: EenVandaag –‘We are making a huge mistake in thinking’: cabinet wants to use 3.4 billion from development aid pot for asylum reception’ | Liana Hoornweg speaks to EenVandaag on Radio1 and NPO1. Watch the excerpt here:

26 May 2023: Trouw –Religious leaders: Cabinet acts immoral if it uses development money for asylum reception | Dutch religious leaders jointly call for no development money to be used for domestic reception of asylum seekers: “The poorest pay the price”.


26 May 2023: ND – Churches want ‘immoral’ cabinet policy to stop, poorest should not bear the brunt of asylum reception | Religious leaders in the Netherlands call on cabinet to stop cutting development cooperation budget to pay for asylum reception.


25 May 2023: At Christian radio Groot News Radio, Marco van der Graaf, director of World Vision, speaks. There, he talks about the action of 24 religious leaders to spread the cost of asylum better, as it now comes disproportionately from the development budget. He calls on people to speak out and get involved in the issue, for example, at the Pentecostal Conference.

25 May 2023: NRC – The Netherlands makes a muddle with cuts in international cooperation | Cutting international poverty reduction and emergency aid by 3.4 billion euros makes the Netherlands look implausible, write Danielle Hirsch and Maarten van Nieuw Amerongen. Cutting back on international cooperation seems easy and painless in the short term. After all, in the Netherlands, we seemingly don’t have to give up anything for it. But this is penny wise, pound foolish. Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals is getting further out of sight. And while our well-being depends on foreign countries in many areas, we are sidelining ourselves internationally.

23 May 2023: Volkskrant powerful column by Marcia Luyten – Under the leadership of a VVD minister, development cooperation is being eroded from the inside. About intending cuts to international poverty reduction and emergency aid: ‘A minister for development cooperation should fight like a lion to get her billions, instead of going to Ter Apel, to sustainable development’.


20 mei 2023: Trouw- Commentaar Asielkosten | Korten op ontwikkelingshulp is ondoordacht en armoedig. Het kabinet wil de komende jaren in totaal 3,4 miljard euro ontwikkelingsgeld gebruiken om de opvang van asielzoekers in eigen land te bekostigen. Volgens internationale afspraken is dit toegestaan, maar dat wil niet zeggen dat het deugt.


15 May 2023: Telegraaf – Minister cuts development aid despite protest due to costs caused by too high asylum influx | The cabinet has to cut billions of euros from the development aid budget in the coming years due to the high asylum influx. “That hurts,” says Minister Liesje Schreinemacher (Development Cooperation). But she is pushing ahead with the cut, despite fierce criticism from government parties D66 and CU.

13 May 2023: Trouw opens with an article mentioning the issues. Including that due to structural cuts, extra expensive emergency shelters must now be arranged. The Partos statement with more than 100 signatories is mentioned and a short quote from Liana. They also address the tension within the coalition, criticism of the cuts and OS spending from the Tweede Kamer.


12 May 2023: The NOS news programme on Thursday night paid attention to the appeal from the development sector and its discussion in the Tweede Kamer The CU and D66 are critical of the part of the OS budget going to asylum reception. Report debate humanitarian aid: Alexander Hammelburg worries about whether we can meet international agreements and wants to keep sufficient budget for emergency aid. Liana also speaks in the clip. To be seen in the broadcast from 5:40 onwards.

12 May 2012: Het radio1 journaal heeft het in een uitgebreide uitzending over de behandeling van de Voorjaarsnota in de Tweede Kamer. Er wordt ruim 5 minuten specifiek over de bezuinigingen en de gevolgen gesproken.

12 May 2023: Stelling Shifting money from development aid to asylum shelters is unacceptable. There were 1537 votes: 60% agreed with the statement, and 40% disagreed. The government wants to use development aid money to solve the asylum crisis in the Netherlands but is meeting resistance in the Lower House. Opposition parties PvdA and GroenLinks find it unacceptable that the money is taken away from the poorest countries in the world.

11 May 2023: In this article on the de website of NOS, attention is paid to the debate in the Lower House: CU, D66 and PVDA/GL are critical of the part of the OS budget going to asylum reception. The tweet by PvdA MP Joris Thijssen is quoted, and Partos’ appeal is shared.

10 May 2023: Prisma director Haaije Feenstra at Family7 was interviewed by the 24/7 Christian TV station of the Netherlands. There, he talked about the disastrous cuts to development cooperation. Right now, investments in relief and development are crucial. Therefore, our call to the cabinet: reverse these cuts!

10 May 2023: The Nederlands Dagblad mentions the issue of rising costs, the people who suffer as a result, Partos’ position for an asylum cap and some quotes from Liana. The ND previously published articles on the subject.

10 May 2023: Our press releases are well-shared both by our members and the industry at large and by politicians.