Development Cooperation Minister Bert Koenders has announced that the Netherlands is to stop aid to seven countries. In a letter to parliament, the minister says Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Armenia and Macedonia are receiving more and more funds from other sources. Relations with Eritrea and Sri Lanka are being suspended due to political turmoil. Cape Verde's economy is doing so well, the minister writes, it no longer needs Dutch financial assistance. The measure is to come into effect in 2011.

The Netherlands each year spends 0.8 percent of its GDP to help fight poverty. Half the aid goes to Africa, the world's poorest continent. In 36 countries it supports Dutch initiatives aimed at improving governance, human rights and business opportunities.

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