Development Aid Body to Fight ‘Poverty’ in the Netherlands
THE HAGUE, 25/07/13 - Development aid organisation Cordaid is to focus on ‘poverty’ in the Netherlands. On the basis of experience in in Afghanistan and Congo, it wants to bring the unemployed out of their social isolation, De Volkskrant newspaper reported Wednesday.
"In a prosperous country like the Netherlands, it should not be the case that more and more people are living in poverty,” says Kristel Ashra, business development manager at Cordaid. "In the past 20 years, the number of people in poverty has risen from 4 to 10 percent of the population. As an organisation that helps combat poverty internationally, we cannot close our eyes to what is happening in our own backyard.”
In Breda, Cordaid will help people who are setting up a small business while keeping their benefit payments. In Arnhem or Nijmegen, there will be a fresh produce market, set up by farmers and residents. They will work in partnership in a cooperation that will be set up with the support and expertise of Cordaid. The farmers will supply the produce, the poor can build up work experience and may subsequently be able to progress to a regular job. There will also be projects in The Hague.
Social economics professor Lei Delsen of the University of Nijmegen warns of unfair competition. “Small greengrocers who cannot get above the poverty line in income despite hard work will experience disadvantage from this.”
Cordaid (Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development Aid) receives tens of millions of taxpayers money annually. It initiates and supports development initiatives in the poorest regions of the world. Ashra says Cordaid’s activities in the Netherlands will not be at the expense of those in poor countries.