India: no more Dutch development funds

July 2003 -

India has announced that it no longer needs any development funds from the Dutch government. Thirteen other donor countries have also been asked to stop sending aid as soon as the ongoing programs are completed. Financial support from Germany, Russia, Great Britain and the United States is still welcome.

The Netherlands was one of India’s largest donors. Agnes Van Ardenne, the Minister for Development Collaboration, had set aside 71 million euros for this year. She has now requested that the Indian government also take over the programs that are currently underway. India says it no longer needs the money. But according to Professor Arie Kuyvenhoven, professor of Development Economy at the University of Wageningen, India no longer ‘wants to have to negotiate with each country individually regarding the conditions for the aid. Inherent in the message is that India would prefer to negotiate with Brussels.’ He made this statement in the University Newspaper Wb.

Last year, the Netherlands had urged the EU to take diplomatic steps against the Indian government after the mass murder of Muslims in the State of Gujarat, where Muslims are increasingly becoming the victims of Hindu fundamentalism. It is still not clear whether the activities of Dutch co-financing organisations such as Novib and ICCO must also be terminated.