On March 23, 2020, the Dutch NGO umbrella organization Partos met with the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, to relay their asks back to her ministry. These recommendations were compiled by Partos members, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and included the following:
- Provide existing NGO programs with enough flexibility to respond quickly to COVID-19 and address the greatest needs of the most vulnerable;
- Allocate additional funding to fight COVID-19 in developing countries and ensure continuity of current programs aimed at supporting health care; and
- Keep supporting existing civil society strengthening programs for their critical role both addressing the current crisis as well as preserving civic spaces affected as a result of the political measures taken in some countries.
The Minister promised to ensure flexibility of the use of current funds to NGOs and noted the Ministry is working on a framework towards this goal. Kaag also shared her concerns about Human Rights and the need to maintain ongoing and future programs in support of local organizations in developing countries.
On March 28, 2020, Kaag expanded upon the importance of supporting the most vulnerable populations in developing countries in a panel discussion in the Dutch TV Op1 show (from Minute 35, in Dutch only).
Press release - Partos (in Dutch)