MPs press Dutch lawmakers on aid policy

KIGALI - Rwandan lawmakers have criticized the Dutch government’s aid policy that mainly looks at funding Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) and commits a small portion to direct budget support. The MPs said such money that is sent to NGOs is normally unaccounted and could be missued by the beneficiaries. The criticism came during the parliament’s meeting with the visiting members of the Dutch lower chamber of parliament on Friday. A delegation of eight Dutch MPs led by the Chairman of the Dutch Parliament Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Henk Jan Ormel was in parliament to pay a courtesy call on Rwandan lawmakers as well as to assess the impact of the Dutch aid to Rwanda.
Senate President Vincent Biruta chats with Hon. Henk Jan Ormel who led a delegation of Dutch Parliamentarians. (Photo/ J.Mbanda)
Senate President Vincent Biruta chats with Hon. Henk Jan Ormel who led a delegation of Dutch Parliamentarians. (Photo/ J.Mbanda)

KIGALI - Rwandan lawmakers have criticized the Dutch government’s aid policy that mainly looks at funding Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) and commits a small portion to direct budget support.

The MPs said such money that is sent to NGOs is normally unaccounted and could be missued by the beneficiaries.
The criticism came during the parliament’s meeting with the visiting members of the Dutch lower chamber of parliament on Friday.

A delegation of eight Dutch MPs led by the Chairman of the Dutch Parliament Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Henk Jan Ormel was in parliament to pay a courtesy call on Rwandan lawmakers as well as to assess the impact of the Dutch aid to Rwanda.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo also questioned the circumstances under which the Netherlands cut aid to Rwanda recently.

In 2008, the Netherlands government suspended its aid to Rwanda for a few months following a United Nations report accusing the country of supporting armed rebellion in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Deputy Speaker in charge of political affairs, Denis Polisi disapproved the Dutch aid policy saying that Africa has been taken for granted.

“You take decisions against us without listening to our concerns; we require some respect, you claim we have partnership but what kind of partnership are you talking about.” Polisi said.

Lawmaker, Gideon Kayinamura said that there is a lot of literature written on development aid and why it has not worked.

“Money allocated to budget support is audited but the aid that comes through NGOs is not audited,” Kayinamura said. 

Senator Joseph Karemera said that when he visited Netherlands together with the Auditor General,  they met with the Dutch Auditor General who acknowledged that aid allocated through NGOs is not audited and  promised to look into it.

In his response, Ormel said that he was in Rwanda with his delegation to see how they can improve cooperation and invited Rwanda lawmakers to the Dutch parliament saying that discussions about aid should be continued in the Dutch parliament.

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