Trade association: Give back funds to development aid

Aid funds are critical to developing nations and stemming the refugee flow

Built it, and they won’t come (photo: iStock)
September 2nd, 2016 3:13 pm| by Christian W
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The Danish Association of Consulting Engineers (FRI) has lamented the government’s 2025 budget proposal for being lacklustre in terms of aid funds.

FRI has criticised the government’s plan for not reallocating surplus aid funds earmarked for asylum-seekers back to the development aid fund pool for future use.

“It is with some surprise that we once again see less money for genuine development,” said Henrik Garver, the CEO of FRI.

“It is precisely through good projects and capacity building that, among others, Danish consulting engineering companies provides intelligent technical solutions, consulting and design in the field of water and waste water, restoration, energy, roads, ports, railways and building of competent public authorities in order to reduce the number of migrants from the developing world.”

READ MORE: Asylum centres closing as arrival numbers fall

An overwhelming impact
The government set aside a considerable amount of development funds in order to handle the expected the cost of the continuing high numbers of asylum-seekers arriving to Denmark as part of the refugee crisis.

But earlier this week it emerged that the dwindling number of asylum-seekers coming to Denmark has prompted several municipalities to close down centres and cut staff.

Despite this, the government’s 2017 budget proposal indicated that it does not intend to transfer the surplus asylum funds back to the development aid, where they were originally intended for use.

“Creating projects funded by development aid ensures capacity building and lifts human resources in recipient countries,” said Garver.

“It brings new private jobs, promotes local entrepreneurship, creates business in the recipient countries while giving Denmark a strong international negotiating position and paving the way for Danish companies that want to thrive and contribute to growth in the world’s developing economies.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed that some 30 percent of the total amount allocated to foreign development assistance by the Danish government was being spent in Denmark.