The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made it known at 4 PM on 1 November that two of the alliances of which SOMO forms a part will receive subsidy in the context of the joint financing system (MFS2) 2011-2015. SOMO will use this subsidy in the next 5 years, together with its alliance partners, to promote global sustainable and just economic development.
Cooperating in two alliances in the coming years will provide many new opportunities and challenges. In the IMPACT alliance, led by Oxfam Novib, SOMO works together with Hirda, FairFood, 1%CLUB and Butterfly Works. SOMO works together in the Fair, Green & Global Alliance (FFG), led by Both ENDS, with NiZA, Clean Clothes Campaign, Milieudefensie and Transnational Institute. This subsidy application of both the alliances was reduced: the IMPACT Alliance has been promised 79% of the amount it applied for, and the FGG Alliance 59%. For SOMO, this means that approximately 30% less will be allocated than the amount applied for.
SOMO regrets that cuts are being made to development cooperation, and that less money will be made available for strengthening social organisations in the south. Despite this, SOMO is happy with the recognition of the quality of its work and that of its partners, and the resources made available. “We see this as recognition of the importance of innovation in international cooperation. The work of SOMO has a major impact on the structural combating of poverty by realising changes in the way in which businesses operate in developing countries,” says Joris Oldenziel, senior researcher at SOMO. "The alliances which SOMO has chosen share our ambition in terms of innovation from the point of view of human rights. The cooperation in the alliances provides the opportunity to structurally influence international regulations and corporate social responsibility, together with our southern partners," explains Ronald Gijsbertsen, managing director of SOMO.
SOMO has been working for 37 years to enable social organisations, primarily in developing countries, to promote sustainable alternatives and to offer a counterbalance to harmful strategies and practices of multinational corporations. It does this by carrying out change-oriented research and by strengthening cooperation. In the coming five years, SOMO will be focusing in the alliances on knowledge about companies and sustainability issues in their international context of production, trade, financing, taxes and regulations.
The Fair Green & Global Alliance aims to strengthen the self-reliance of people in developing countries by improving the strength of local social organisations working in the area of sustainability and human rights. The focus of the IMPACT alliance lies in supporting 'southern' organisations with innovative contributions to combating poverty and to sustainable development, in other words ‘InnovativeMitigation of Poverty ACTions’: IMPACT.