SHARE
COPY LINK

POLITICS

Four countries lose Danish development aid as funds diverted to help Ukrainian refugees

The Danish government has set aside two billion kroner to enable the country to take in refugees. The spending will be funded by diverting the country’s development aid budget from countries including Syria, Mali and Bangladesh.

Danish Minister for Foreign Development Flemming Møller Mortensen.
Danish Minister for Foreign Development Flemming Møller Mortensen. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

A Foreign Ministry list of projects that will lose financial backing also shows that Burkina Faso will also lose out on previously pledged Danish development aid.

The projects are to see their funding withdrawn because the government is diverting its foreign development aid to cover the costs of taking in refugees domestically.

Minister for Foreign Development Flemming Møller Mortensen told newspaper Berlingske that the diversion of aid spending was uncontroversial.

“The primary aim of the government’s foreign development strategy is that refugees must be helped in near areas [to conflict, ed.]. Denmark has now actually become a near area, and a special responsibility follows that,” Mortensen said.

“There is therefore no contradiction between what our strategy states and what we are doing now,” he said.

The two billion kroner in foreign development aid for refugees from Ukraine is based on an estimate of 20,000 refugees arriving in Denmark.

The government has signalled that is believes “significantly more” than that number will now come, according to Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye.

Should that happen, further funds could be taken from the foreign development budget.

War-torn Syria and neighbouring regions are to lose 50 million kroner due to the decision.  Mali, which is plagued by terror groups, loses 70 million kroner, and Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest countries, will lose 100 million kroner in Danish aid spending.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

2022 DANISH ELECTION

Moderate party downplays importance of joining new Danish government 

After another round of negotiations with acting Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Moderate leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen says it’s beside the point if his party joins Frederiksen’s vision of a ‘broad, central’ government.

Moderate party downplays importance of joining new Danish government 

Rasmussen, who was Prime Minister before Frederiksen when leader of the Liberal (Venstre) party, led the newly-formed Moderates into parliament in their first election on a platform of installing a centrist government.

The Moderates have a relatively strong hand in the negotiations with their 16 seats from 9.3 percent of the vote share in the election, which took place one month ago.

“For us, it’s not a separate ambition to be part of such a government,” Rasmussen said outside of the prime minister’s official residence at Marienborg on Wednesday.

“Whether we are in or not is less important. But we want to put ourselves in a position where we can influence the content. That’s what matters,” he said. 

“It strikes me that Mette Frederiksen and I go a long way towards sharing the analysis of what’s good for Denmark,” he added.

READ ALSO: What does Denmark’s Liberal party want from government negotiations?

Rasmussen has previously backed a potential government involving the Social Democrats and Liberals along with the Moderates, calling it an “excellent starting point”.

But he said on Wednesday that his party could lend support to a central coalition without being part of the government itself.

The Moderates could be influential “by forming the parliamentary basis for a government which consists of parties from both sides of the infamous political centre,” he said.

Although the centrist party is heavily involved in talks led by Frederiksen, it does not have decisive seats which could give either the left or right wings an overall majority. The left wing ‘red bloc’ took a single-seat victory in the November 1st election, meaning a left-wing government could be formed without the support of the Moderates.

But Frederiksen has eschewed the option of a government reliant on the support of the parties furthest to the left, the Red Green Alliance and Alternative, maintaining her pre-election pledge to seek a coalition across the centre.

There is no majority which could put a ‘blue bloc’ or conservative government in place.

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Danish election result

SHOW COMMENTS