Dutch minister urges new gov't to support She Decides fund

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-11 23:03:57|Editor: yan
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THE HAGUE, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation Lilianne Ploumen has called on the new Dutch government to support "She Decides", an initiative launched in January to fill gap caused by Washington's withdrawal from funding women's access to and information about safe abortion.

As the Netherlands is soon to have a new government, outgoing minister Ploumen said it should carry the torch.

"The Netherlands received worldwide recognition for She Decides. If a new minister says they want to leave it at that, it would be kind of a disgrace for the country," Ploumen said when speaking to Dutch broadcaster NOS on Saturday.

Nine months ago, when U.S. President Donald Trump signed a ban on federal money being allocated to international groups that perform or provide information about abortions, the Dutch minister launched "She Decides" as an international fund to provide women in developing countries with access to good information, contraception, and abortion.

Some 300 million U.S. dollars has been raised for the fund internationally, said Ploumen, adding that the goal was to collect 600 million U.S. dollars by the end of the year. If this figure is reached, the fund would be able to fully compensate the amount of money that the Trump administration withdrew in funding.

The Dutch government made a first donation of 10 million euros (12 million U.S. dollars) in January, and another 15 million euros was added in July.

The She Decides conference held in Brussels in March and its follow-up actions generated around 182 million euros in funds contributed by governments, foundations, and philanthropists.

The Family Planning Summit held in London in early July led to further commitments that doubled the contributions, bringing the total to 400 million U.S. dollars, according to the She Decides website.