Dutch development minister announces five new humanitarian assistance disbursements

Dutch development minister Ms. Liliane Ploumen has notified the Parliament of five recently commenced or planned humanitarian assistance disbursements. These are funded from the extra budget of €40 million for development assistance announced in the Spring Memorandum and include:

  • additional €11.5 million to the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF);
  • €5 million to support high-quality activities that contribute to sexual and reproductive health care in emergency settings, including better access to contraception;
  • €10 million for three crisis-affected regions: the Lake Chad region (€4 million), the Syrian region (€3 million), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (€3 million);
  • additional €7 million for the Dutch Relief Alliance, bringing the total to €15 million that can be used to combat the famine in the Horn of Africa and Yemen;
  • €1.5 million to UN Global Pulse, which collects and analyzes big data in collaboration with humanitarian partners.

Publication - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)


Dutch government announces additional €15 million for She Decides

The Dutch government has announced it will contribute another €15 million to She Decides, a fund launched by development minister Liliane Ploumen to address funding gaps (of approximately US$600 million) created by US President Trump’s reinstatement and expansion of the 'Global Gag Rule'. Minister Ploumen announced the additional funding at the Global Citizen Festival, a sideline concert to last week’s G20 Summit. The new funding comes on top of an earlier Dutch donation of €10 million. All together, the She Decides initiatives, and a pledging conference held in Brussels in March, have thus far raised €182 million in support from more than 13 countries.

News article - (in Dutch)


Online magazine ViceVersa holds meeting on ‘Aid and Trade: State of Affairs and Future’

ViceVersa, an online magazine on global cooperation, brought together NGOs, CSOs, and civil servants for a conference to discuss lessons learned from the Dutch government’s integrated development assistance and trade structure, first implemented in 2012. Coherence was cited as a general theme, with a need for more coherence in policy making as well as more coherence between ministries. There were also calls for more transparency within documents and policy papers, including those developed by the EU, and a widely supported proposition to appoint more special envoys for foreign affairs and specific ambassadors for important sectors.

News article - ViceVersa (in Dutch)


Dutch present fact sheet on importance of African-EU cooperation

The Netherlands has released a fact sheet on African-EU relations, stressing that Africa and the EU must cooperate regarding international security, with the EU taking responsibility to ensure this through civil and military missions. The fact sheet calls for an equal partnership between Africa and the EU, with cooperation based on both region's agendas. It also advocates for increased participation of women and youth in civil processes.

The European Commission has proposed the need for a renewed partnership between Africa and Europe, with a cooperation strategy for the coming years to be presented in November 2017.

Fact sheet - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)


Annual development cooperation report presented in the Hague

The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, presented the Annual Report of the Homogeneous Group of International Cooperation (HGIS) 2016. The HGIS details the government’s expenses concerning foreign policy, distinguishing between expenses that comply with the criteria for official development assistance (ODA) and remaining  expenses (non-ODA). An important instrument for an integrated and coherent development policy, the report covers topics including terrorism, migration, women and gender equality, and trade and investments.

Full report (in Dutch)


Dutch Homogeneous Group of International Cooperation releases 2016 foreign policy report

Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders presented the Annual Report of the Homogeneous Group of International Cooperation (HGIS) 2016. In it, all of the government’s expenses concerning foreign policy across ministries are combined and presented. Terrorism, migration, women's and gender equality, and trade and investments are just some of the topics that are presented. In addition, the report distinguishes between expenses that comply with the criteria for official development assistance (ODA) and cooperation and those that do not (non-ODA), making it an important instrument to advocate for an integrated and coherent development and foreign policy.

The full report (in Dutch) can be found on the website of the Dutch government.

Website - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)


European leaders call for more funding to fight drug-resistant TB

Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development hosted a high-level meeting in Brussels to discuss the threat of tuberculosis (TB) in Europe and encourage more financing for research and development (R&D). At the meeting, which was entitled “TB and European Health Security: The critical role of TB R&D in the context of AMR”, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), Vytenis Andriukaitis, along with government officials from France and the Netherlands underlined the urgent need to develop new tools to tackle multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and improve health security across Europe.

The meeting was jointly organized by the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), the Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI), and the German health NGO, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW).

Press release - TB Alliance

Dutch CSOs urge party leaders to invest in development and refugee programs

Nine Dutch CSO directors (from Save the Children, OXFAM Novib, UNICEF, Cordaid, Hivos, Pax, Icco, Prisma and Partos) have written a joint letter to five Dutch party leaders urging them to show courage in their commitment to tackle the root causes of climate change, conflict, and extreme poverty. The party leaders, Mr. Rutte (Prime Minister; VVD), Mr. Buma (CDA), Mr. Pechtold (D66), Mr. Klaver (GroenLinks), and Ms. Schippers (formateur), are currently negotiating a potential coalition government. The letter specifically calls for them to: 1) ensure the new budget for official development assistance is at least 0.7% of GDP, in line with UN targets and EU agreements; 2) establish safe and legal routes for refugees to enter or leave the country; and 3) respect international obligations under the UNHCR Refugee Convention.

Webpage - OXFAM Novib (in Dutch)


Dutch net ODA falls 13% in 2016 as in-country refugee costs decrease

According to preliminary data from the OECD, the Netherlands' net Official Development Assistance (ODA) decreased from about US$5.7 billion in 2015 to about US$5 billion in 2016, in large part due to lower spending levels for in-country refugee costs compared with the previous year.
This is a drop of 13%, which has led the country's ratio of ODA to GNI to dip below the 0.7% target for the third time since 1974. Of all 29 DAC members, only six have reached that target for 2016.

Summary - OECD


Conservative-liberal party is winner of the Netherlands' 2017 general elections

On March 15, 2017, the Netherlands held general elections. Voter turnout (81.4%) for this year's election was significantly higher than for the 2012 elections, with results showing a victory for the current governing conservative-liberal party (VVD) with 33 seats. VVD was followed by the far-right party (PVV) with 20 seats. The social-liberal party (D66) and the center-right Christian party (CDA) were close behind with 19 seats each. The green-left party (GL) increased its number of seats from 4 to 14, compared to the 2012 elections. However, the labor party (PvdA), a coalition partner in the current government, suffered a historic loss of 29 seats (from 38 to 9). 

All political parties called for an increased development budget in their election manifestos, except for VVD and PVV. However, the VVD has stated that it will not govern with the populist PVV. It will thus need to forge a coalition with at least three other parties to form a majority, which could have positive implications for development spending.