New figures reveal the Danish government managed to save 1.8 billion kroner in the area of dealing with an anticipated surge in asylum-seekers that failed to materialise in 2016.
The funds had been diverted away from international aid, and concerns were voiced in September 2006 that they would not be spent in that area.
However, the development minister, Ulla Tørnæs, has now confirmed the funds will be spent on long-term overseas development projects in areas adjacent to the trouble-spots many of the asylum-seekers are fleeing from.
More border controls
“Basically, this shows the government’s policy is working. We’ve tightened up our foreign policy and pressed for the EU to have better control of its borders,” said Tørnæs.
The minister went on to say that “it means we have significantly fewer asylum-seekers and can use the money locally [to the trouble-spots], which is exactly what we wanted to do”.
Spending money on young people
Among other things, the 1.8 billion kroner will be used to create jobs in the Middle East and Africa – especially for young people. It will also be used in education and to give women and girls broader access to family planning.
“The most important thing to me is that we use the money locally on the most vulnerable – to prevent future refugee streams from crisis and conflict zones. We have to tackle the causes that make people migrate and flee,” Tornæs added.
As well as the local aid, a special pool is being set up to strengthen efforts to repatriate asylum-seekers whose applications have been denied.