Former Dutch minister Vogelaar commits suicide

Former Dutch minister Ella Vogelaar committed suicide at the age of 69, her family said Tuesday night.

“She has been suffering from depression for quite some time and has put an end to her life,” said a family statement.

From 2004 to 2007, Vogelaar was chair of Oxfam Novib, the largest Dutch international development organization, and from February 2007 until the end of 2008, she was minister of housing, neighborhoods and integration in the fourth cabinet of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende on behalf of the Labor Party PvdA.

After a year and a half as a minister, she lost the confidence of the PvdA board and had to leave. During her short time in office, Vogelaar introduced a list of forty disadvantaged neighborhoods in large cities and helped them receive extra investments. Those neighborhoods were soon given the name “Vogelaar neighborhoods.”