THE HAGUE–The Aruba government will be requesting six million euros in financial assistance from the European Union (EU) to help Aruba cope with the influx of refugees from Venezuela.
A delegation of the Aruba Parliament, in The Hague and Brussels last week, secured the approval of Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok to submit a request to the EU for monetary assistance. The intention is to get six million euros from European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development DG DEVCO.
Aruba also wants to be included in the assistance programme of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly Eurolat for countries in the Caribbean and Latin America that are giving shelter to Venezuelan refugees. The Aruba delegation will be in Brussels today, Monday, to discuss this.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops, during their visit to Aruba late January this year, had promised to provide technical assistance to the Aruba government instead of financial aid. The Aruba Parliament decided to try securing funds from the EU.
However, in order to do this, Aruba needed permission from the Netherlands. Aruba is not a member of the EU, while the largest Kingdom partner the Netherlands is. Last week, the Aruba delegation spoke with Minister Blok and with Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Jan Paternotte.
According to delegation leader, Chairman of the Aruba Parliament Ady Thijsen who also represented the Curaçao Parliament in the talks in The Hague and Brussels, Minister Blok did indicate that it was cardinal to have a plan on crisis paper in order to receive funding from the EU. Aruba needs the funding to comply with international obligations to process asylum requests of Venezuelan refugees, to provide shelter and to vaccinate persons arriving on the island from the South American country.
Bron: Daily Herald