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Simonsen, Jakob

Direktor des Entwicklungshilfeprogramms der Vereinten Nationen (UNDP) im Norden

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Information - Denmark | 13/01/2009

Development aid fosters democracy

According to media reports in December, a large majority of Danes harbour strong doubts about the use of development aid. These doubts are groundless, writes Jakob Simonsen of the United Nations Development Programme: "Of course projects financed by taxes cannot alleviate poverty in the world. ... We know that private enterprise plays a huge role in fighting poverty in both rich and poor countries. ... Danish development aid money has payed for a good number of successes, which fully justify the 0.82 percent of the gross national product. ... On Monday, December 29, 81 million people were able to vote ... in Bangladesh. In cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme, Denmark laid the groundwork for the development of democracy in Bangladesh. Before the elections all voters were registered by means of photos and ID so as to prevent election fraud. Denmark helped out with this huge task to the tune of 5 million crowns. That's one crown per Dane."

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