The Dutch Government has decided to give 500,000 guilders (V7,826) to the special fund to combat racism of the World Council of Churches, according to the World Council's headquarters in Geneva.
Mr. Jan Prank, the Dutch development minister, notified the World Council that the gift was "related to our aim to give development and humanitarian support to people living within the liberated areas of Southern Africa."
Mr. Baldwin Sjollema, director of the programme to combat racism, welcomed the contribution to the special fund and said: "This is an excellent beginning for the United Nations decade for action to combat racism and racial discrimination launched yesterday by the General
Assembly. I hope this is only the first of many such contributions."
The World Council has asked that the gift be transmitted through the Dutch inter-church peace council, which includes all the major Protestant Churches and the Catholic Church. This council had initiated the request that a grant be given to the special fund.
Mr. Sjollema said the gift would be part of the fourth series of grants from the special fund to be disbursed in February by the World Council's executive committee. This is not the first time a government has made such an allocation to P.C.R.
According to Mr. Sjollema, the Swedish Government in 1972 and 1973 offered to match the sum raised by the Swedish churches. The government gave 100,000 krona in 1972 and a similar amount this year.
The special fund has already disbursed3600,000. Over 60 per cent of this went to the medical, educational and social service activities of liberation movements in Southern Africa, but other groups fighting racism have benefited as well, These included the Korean minority in Japan. Aborigines in Australia, Indians in Colombia, Canada and the United States and antiapartheid groups in Europe.
The special fund is authorised to seek the sum of $1 million. All but $200,000 has come in. However, Mr. Sjollema made it clear that the Dutch Government's grant would not be used to complete this sum. "This the Churches will have to do," he said.