News release | 12-03-2021 | 2:30 PM
At the suggestion of State Secretary Knops of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Dutch cabinet is allocating an additional 15.2 million euros for the food aid program in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The inhabitants of the three islands have faced major challenges since the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent loss of tourism. The poverty problem has increased sharply on the islands.
State Secretary Knops: “The cabinet has always been based on the principle that the Netherlands should not leave the most vulnerable people out in the cold. During my last working visit I experienced how dire the situation is in some places within our Kingdom. It is very important that the food aid program is continued in the coming period. ”
Since May 2020, the Dutch cabinet has made money available for food aid in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. At the moment, a total of about 80,000 people are helped with food aid made possible by the Netherlands.
The Red Cross coordinates the food aid program. But a transition to a more structural form of the program is underway, under the responsibility of the three countries. With these funds, food aid is guaranteed until July 1, 2021.
Letter to Parliament about the follow-up food aid program Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten
State Secretary Knops informs the House of Representatives about the extension of the food aid program in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint:
Return address PO Box 20011 2500 EA The Hague
To the President of the House of Representatives of the States General PO Box 20018
2500 EA THE HAGUE
The Interior and Kingdom Relations
Turfmarkt 147 The Hague
2500 EA The Hague
Date March 12, 2021
Subject Continuation of food aid program Aruba, Curaçao and Sint
The residents of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten have faced major challenges since COVID-19 and the consequent loss of tourism. The poverty problem has increased sharply on the islands. At the moment, a total of about 80,000 people are helped with food aid made possible by the Netherlands.
The government’s starting point has always been that the Netherlands should not leave the most vulnerable people out in the cold. For this reason, funding has been made available for food aid since May 2020: € 16.5 million for the period May to mid-September 2020 and € 25.2 million for the period from mid-September to December 2020. This turned out to be sufficient to implement the program on Curaçao until May 1, 2021 and on Aruba and St. Maarten until February 1. An additional € 14.9 million was made available for Aruba and St. Maarten for the period February to May 2021.
It is very important that the food aid program is continued in the coming period. The cabinet has therefore decided to make € 15.2 million available to continue the food aid program in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten until June 2021.
The Red Cross is currently coordinating the food aid program. A lot of hard work is being done on the transition of food aid to a more long-term embedding of the program in the local authorities. This applies to both food aid to residents and food aid to undocumented migrants. The countries intend to deploy an NGO for the latter target group. The aim is to have realized the transition by May 1, 2021 on Curaçao and Sint Maarten and by July 1, 2021 on Aruba. After the first transition in May, more will soon become clear about the continuation of the food aid program. Your House will be informed about this at that time.
Normally, new policy is implemented after the States General has authorized the Budget Act. Since postponement of the implementation of this urgent measure, which is in the interest of central government, cannot wait for formal authorization from both Houses of the States General, the cabinet will start the implementation of the measure. This acts in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 2.27 of the Government Accounts Act 2016.
The State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations,
drs. R.W. Knops
Home Affairs and
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