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Danish aid organisations rethink spending

DANISH NEWS - In anticipation of funding cutbacks, Danish aid organisations are changing their strategies

With the new government expected to cut foreign development spending, Danish aid organisations are already preparing a reevaluation of how they distribute nearly 17 billon Danish kroner in annual funding throughout the world. This is according to Jyllands-Posten and

Should millions be spent on schools in Tanzania, water drilling projects in Mozambique, or refugees in Syria? These are just some of the questions being asked by the Danish Refugee Council (Dansk Flygtningehjælp) and the Danish Red Cross as they face a significant shortfall in revenue.

The Secretary General of the Danish Refugee Council, Andreas Kamm, said the world has changed dramatically over the past 15 to 20 years and he’s concerned as to whether Denmark is getting full value for money. At the same time he urged the EU to reassess its own development aid funding.

Future development

“Things have gone bad in Afghanistan, very bad in Iraq, while Libya has virtually fallen apart,” Mr. Kamm said. “We believed that when Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein were removed things would improve, but instead the situation has worsened. Is that something we’ve addressed in our aid commitment?”

His Red Cross counterpart, Anders Ladekarl, mirrored the concern about the planned cuts.

“When you cut 2.6 billon kroner, the most dramatic cutback in development aid ever, then I agree that we need to address how we distribute the money. We believe there should be more spending on humanitarian issues, such as helping the four million refugees who are fleeing from Syria.”

However, Secretary General Frans Mikale Jensen of DanChurchAid (Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke) warned against hasty ‘knee-jerk’ solutions. He said there’s no need to rush through a completely new strategy over the summer but acknowledged the need to adapt aid to fit the changes that will be needed in the long run.

The Liberals’ development aid spokesman, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, welcomed the organsations’ willingness to enter into dialogue, warning at the same time they are facing a 15 percent reduction and a requirement to offer assistance to far fewer countries.

Read the original article (in Danish) .

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