“It is food for thought that every time there is a crisis, development aid usually gets cut. This is also how it was in the first half of the last term,” says Stefán Ingi Stefánsson, director of UNICEF Iceland, about a new proposal included in a committee report regarding the latest budget bill, vísir.is reports.
Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.
Among the suggestions in the report is cutting grants for development aid to UNICEF by approximately ISK 22 million (USD 188,000, EUR 137,000). According to Stefán Ingi, these funds have been assigned to children development and emergency assistance; the money is being used wherever it is needed the most. This makes for a substantial cut if it will come to be: 12 percent.
Of late, the funds have mainly been assigned to health care projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. They have never been earmarked and Stefán Ingi explains that this is one of the things that make UNICEF so effective; they bring aid where it is most needed.
“This is a flat budget cut whereas in the government’s plans there are four institutions with a predetermined purpose: UNICEF, UN Women, the World Bank and the United Nation’s Universities. With this cut, institutions such as these will not be spared.”
Projects such as these always suffer when great budget cuts are made, Stefán Ingi concludes. “No matter how much support we get, at the end of the day it always seems to end this way.”