Dutch aid for sport in developing countries

On 11 February, development cooperation minister Bert Koenders and State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport Jet Bussemaker presented their policy memorandum on sport and development cooperation.

Over the next four years 16 million euros will be released to encourage people in developing countries to take part in sport. The money will go to projects in ten different countries.

Referring to what he had observed in Eldoret (Kenya) and Guatemala, Koenders emphasised the importance of sport for development. “Getting people in developing countries involved in sport improves their health, helps them come to terms with traumatic experiences and boosts their self respect. Involvement in sport can also benefit the social position of women and girls, and can be a means of reaching people and teaching them about diseases such as malaria and AIDS,” he said.

The umbrella organisation NOC*NSF is drawing up plans for the projects, which will target young people, women and girls, and the disabled. Koenders and Bussemaker want to ensure that there is close cooperation between local organisations, Dutch organisations and embassies in order to safeguard cohesion and ensure money is not wasted.