In 1996 a tripartite committee concerned with the debt problems of the  Netherlands Antilles and Aruba issued the report: “schuld of toekomst?” i.e. “Debt or Future?” or: Van Lennep-report, named after the chairman of the Committee. The report was a plea for swift actions in order to improve the critical social and socio-economic situation in the Netherlands Antilles in the first half of the nineties. This Van Lennep-report led to the conclusion of a financing agreement between the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles to come to a social emergency program.

As a result of this the government of the Netherlands Antilles installed the Komishon Akshon Sosial (i.e. Committee for Social Action), in January 1996. The findings and recommendations of the Committee are embodied in the report Aan de Slag (i.e. action).

The proposed socio-economic action program consisted of two components:

  1. an emergency program and
  2. a structural program.

The emergency program dealt with to the measures which had to be taken on a short term to making up the arrears, especially in the marginal neighbourhoods but it also aimed on renewal of school materials. While the structural program had to bring diversification and growth of the economy.

The Fund for Social Development and Economic Activities, better known as: Reda Sosial was founded on May 31, 1996 as an instrument to implement the measures as proposed in the report Aan de Slag. The founders are: R. Aartsma, L. Capriles, E. Cova, L. Emmerij, E. van der Hoeven and E. Tromp.

In order to gain attention for the issue of both material and immaterial poverty Reda Sosial conducted a poverty study on Curacao in 1998 and brought the matter to everyone’s attention with the publication of Pobresa, ban atak’é in 1999 (literally: let’s tackle poverty!). This publication emphasizes the importance of the participation of target groups to the effectivity of poverty elimination programs on a neighbourhood level.

Reda Sosial has ever since shifted the attention on the Netherlands Antilles towards combating poverty through an integrated neighbourhood development policy.