The Netherlands supports fund for NGOs in need

For the next three years the Netherlands is prepared to contribute to the Lifeline Fund for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in authoritarian countries, provided that initial results are satisfactory. This pledge was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal in Vilnius at a ministerial conference of the Community of Democracies, a network of over 100 democratic countries.

‘Support for human rights defenders in need is one of the priorities of Dutch human rights policy,’ said Mr Rosenthal. ‘Unfortunately, we are seeing more repression of NGOs, including restrictions on their internet freedom. The Lifeline Fund can fill a vacuum.’

The Lifeline Fund, which is administered by the organisation Freedom House, provides aid to NGOs in need, for example those involved in a trial or under physical threat.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the creation of the Fund in 2010, and the Netherlands was the first country to make a contribution.