In response to the call of UNRWA's Commissioner-General, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo has decided to allocate 19 million EURO over the next 3 years to UNRWA, the United Nations agency which provides humanitarian help to Palestinian refugees. Belgium is one of the few donors that provides this kind of multi-annual funding. Considering the financial difficulties which UNRWA currently faces, the Belgian annual contribution will be disbursed immediately. The US government decided yesterday to suspend half of its support to UNRWA.
The Council of Ministers approved this morning a draft law on consular assistance to Belgians abroad. This draft law was submitted by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders. Consular assistance is the help which Belgians receive from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when they are in trouble abroad.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders met today with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. Among the issues discussed, he raised the case of Ahmadreza Djalali and the fact that the death penalty should not be applied. Didier Reynders repeated that Belgium was, as a matter of principle, opposed to death penalty and in favour of a fair trial. The case of Hamid Babaeï and other issues related to human rights were also discussed.
Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation, has decided to allocate 1 million euro to the Start Fund. This fund is managed by the Start Network, an international network of humanitarian NGO’s. The Start Fund’s objective is to reduce the funding gap within the current humanitarian system for small to medium-sized humanitarian crises.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo presented the Belgian policy regarding the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission, in a session behind closed doors.
On 7 December 2017, the European Commission opened the competition “European Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade 2019”. This competition aims at rewarding the role played by European cities in the social, economic and sustainable development domains linked to international trade.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo made a donation of 100.000 EUR to the fundraising operation “de Warmste Week”. This amount will be allocated to a project supporting victims of human trafficking in Tunisia (Avocats sans Frontières) and the improvement of youth rights in Burundi (KIYO). Minister De Croo handed over the cheque this morning to Music For Life. The operation is taking place this year in the Puyenbroeck domain in Wachtebeke, in East Flanders.