Allocation of Dutch funds for Venezuelan immigrants | THE DAILY HERALD

THE HAGUE–The Dutch government has taken a definite decision on the allocation of the promised 23.8 million euros for Curaçao and Aruba to assist the countries in dealing with the adverse effects of the Venezuela crisis.

  The 23.8 million, which will be divided equally between Curaçao and Aruba, will be allocated to five components: maritime borders (2.2 million euros), crisis management (10.7 million euros), optimising the system for foreigners (7.2 million euros), foreigners detention facilities in Curaçao (2 million euros) and various assistance projects in Aruba (1.7 million euros).

  In the letter State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops sent to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Friday, he stated that it concerned a comprehensive package of assistance measures that can be further worked out with the countries in the coming year.

  The largest chunk of money, 10.7 million euros, will go towards crisis management. “The disaster caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean in September 2017 shows that it is important for the Kingdom to be prepared for different crisis scenarios. That is why the Dutch government is making additional funds available for crisis management in the Kingdom,” Knops stated.

  With the additional funds from the Netherlands, authorities will be tackling the so-called blind spots in the controlling of the maritime borders. These blind spots are the result of outdated costal radar capacity, insufficient possibilities for patrols from Bonaire and a lack of permanent camera supervision. According to Knops, eliminating these blind spots is urgent, considering the problems that Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire face with illegal immigration.

  To close the blind spots, mobile coastal radars will be purchased within short, which will function alongside the existing permanent coastal radars. A day-and-night camera system will be installed in Curaçao and Aruba to help local authorities detect the areas where Venezuelan migrants come to shore. Drones will be purchased for this same purpose. In Bonaire, a pier will be constructed to enable the Metal Shark intercepting vessels to dock.

  As part of a more optimal system to cater to (illegal) foreigners, funds will be allocated to improve the facilities of the Guard our Coasts organisation in Aruba to hold migrants at the airport. In Curaçao, funds will be invested in the temporary shelter of vulnerable groups, such as mothers and children.

  Funds will become available for trainings and technical assistance by the Netherlands Immigration and Naturalisation Service IND and the Netherlands Royal Marechaussee. Also, money will be invested in equipment, means of communication and ICT.

  Two million euros will go towards the expansion of the foreigners’ detention facilities at Curaçao’s SDKK prison. This will take place in line with the requirements of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture CPT.

  In Aruba, the Dutch government is investing 1.7 million in five projects. Funds will be made available to help the schools cope with the influx of Venezuela migrant children. A subsidy of 255,000 euros will go to a foundation that assists women who have become the victim of human trafficking and domestic violence. The foundation’s capacity will be expanded for 30 persons.

  Aruba will be setting up a data bank to gather information about the labour market. The labour market is affected by the high number of Venezuelans working in the informal sector without valid papers.

  The Dutch government will contribute to the construction of ten additional two-person police cells and the renovation of the prison cells at the KIA penitentiary. With the additional funds, Venezuelan migrants in Aruba will be vaccinated against infectious diseases.     

Source: The Daily Herald