Dutch ministers and state secretaries are sworn into office

New Dutch ministers and state secretaries have been sworn into office, including Sigrid Kaag, the new Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The Ministry for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which Halbe Zijlstra (VVD/Conservative Liberals) will head. Minister Kaag is a member of D66 (Liberal Democrats), and has previously worked for the UN, including UNSCOL, UNDP, IOM, and UNICEF. In the past, she has argued that migration enriches Dutch society, and she has been outspoken in support of providing access to education for refugee children, and for mitigating the structural causes of migration. At university, Kaag studied Arabic and later obtained a Masters in International Relations.

News report – Politico EU


Dutch NGOs criticize new coalition's budget

Since the publication of the Dutch Cabinet’s new coalition agreement, Dutch NGOS have argued that the budget is primarily directed towards mitigating migration and creating shelters for refugees in the Netherlands, rather than alleviating poverty. ONE World and Partos have voiced concern that the development cooperation policy may lose sight of structural and long-term causes of migration, while OXFAM Novib has stated that "strengthening border surveillance, or training the Libyan Coast Guard is not a responsibility of development cooperation". 

The coalition agreement states that one of its main development cooperation goals is to combat the root causes of migration, but it also states that additional expenditures will specifically focus on the causes and effects of migration, including education for children in regional refugee camps. 

News article - Partos (in Dutch)

News article - ONE World (in Dutch)


Dutch coalition agreement boosts ODA

Dutch parties VVD, CDA, D66, and CU have presented a coalition agreement that outlines their plans for the coming four years, including significant increases to Official Development Assistance (ODA). The new Cabinet corrects the budget frontloading of the last cabinet, which means that the budget for Official Development Assistance (ODA) will increase by €118 million in 2019, €304 million in 2020, and €331 million in 2021. As a result, the ODA budget will be 0.7% of the gross national income (GNI), minus €1.4 billion in cuts from the previous government. The development of the ODA budget will also be linked to the GNI development of the Netherlands. Additionally, the new Cabinet will add €1 billion in incidental additional resources to ODA in the coming four years.

The Netherlands’ thematic priorities for development will continue to be sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), agriculture, water, and the rule of law. The government remains committed to fighting the root causes of migration with a targeted approach focused on specific regions. Policy on priority partner countries will be assessed to increase focus and effectiveness. As a first step in this reviewing process, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq will be added to the partner country list, and African and other partner country relationships will be reviewed.

Publication - coalition agreement (in Dutch)


Dutch inspection body reviews Dutch support for Southern civil society developments

The Dutch Inspector for Development Cooperation and Policy Evaluation published a review of Dutch support to civil society development in Africa, Asia, and Latin America for the period of 2011-2015. The review stresses the importance of Dutch CSO cooperation with Southern CSOs, as well as the potential for the Dutch government to financially support these relationships. The review also illustrates the tension between the ambitions of the Dutch government and the poor continuity of its policy in a  rapidly changing international context.

Publication - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)


The Netherlands pledges €4.6 million for water expertise teams

Dutch Development Cooperation Minister Lilianne Ploumen and Infrastructure and Environment Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen have announced a €4.6 million, three-year continuation of funding for the Dutch Risk Reduction (DRR) teams, which respond to water-related disasters around the world. The teams aim to protect vulnerable populations from flooding, water pollution, and drought. Made up of water experts from the government, knowledge institutes, and companies, the teams have undertaken 22 missions to various countries so far in 2017.

Press release - Government of the Netherlands 


Dutch development minister presents report on development policy coherence

Development Cooperation Minister Lilianne Ploumen presented the annual evaluation of the ‘Dutch Action Plan for Policy Coherence for Development’, which seeks to maximize Dutch cooperation’s positive impact while minimizing any unintended negative side effects. According to Minister Ploumen, the Netherlands has made progress by reaching an agreement with 10 developing countries to include anti-abuse provisions in bilateral tax treaties. However, there are areas where increasing policy coherence remains difficult, such as the pharmaceutical industry.  

Policy coherence has become a key focus in the EU’s approach to cooperation through the ‘Better Regulation Agenda’, wherein all new policy initiatives are evaluated based on their consequences for developing countries.  

Publication - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)


Dutch government sets priorities for annual World Bank Group meeting

Dutch Minister of Development Cooperation Lilliane Ploumen has set several priorities for the annual World Bank Group meeting taking place in October in Washington, D.C. Those include mobilizing private funding for development cooperation; focusing on inclusiveness of vulnerable groups and areas; and safeguarding the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. In addition, the Netherlands will request a gradual and balanced redistribution of voting weights during the meeting, with sufficient attention paid to the position of small and medium-sized countries to make the voting weight as fair as possible.

Website - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)


Dutch parliament members ‘adopt an SDG’

At the Sustainable Development Goal Impact Summit at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, Dutch members of parliament agreed to 'adopt' one or more SDG(s) by connecting them to their political work over a time period of six months. The SDGs were 'adopted' as follows:

  • SDG 1: Joël Voordewind (CU)
  • SDG 2: Elbert Dijkgraaf (SGP)
  • SDG 3: Corinne Ellemeet (GroenLinks)
  • SDG 4: Michel Rog (CDA), Peter Kwint (SP)
  • SDG 5: Kirsten van den Hul (PvdA), Achraf Bouali (D66), Isabelle Diks (GroenLinks)
  • SDG 7: Agnes Mulder (CDA), Stientje van Veldhoven (D66), Sandra Beckerman (SP)
  • SDG 8: Joël Voordewind (CU), Mustafa Amhaouch (CDA)
  • SDG 9: Liesbeth van Tongeren (GroenLinks), Maarten Hijink (SP)
  • SDG 10: Sadet Karabulut (SP)
  • SDG 12: Carla Dik-Faber (CU), Isabelle Diks (GroenLinks)
  • SDG 13: Agnes Mulder (CDA), Stientje van Veldhoven (D66)
  • SDG 14: Eppo Bruins (CU), Tjeerd de Groot (D66)
  • SDG 15: Suzanne Kröger (GroenLinks), Tjeerd de Groot (D66)
  • SDG 17: Bram van Ojik (GroenLinks)

Website - Duurzaam Ondernemen (in Dutch)


The Netherlands assesses 31 multilateral organizations

Since 2009, the Dutch Cabinet has conducted a biennial assessment of the multilateral organizations that it collaborates with. Organizations are evaluated based on two criteria: functionality and relevance. Functionality is tested with nine indicators, and relevance is determined by Dutch Foreign Trade and Development policy. This year’s evaluations include the African Development Bank, WTO, World Bank, IMF, UNDP, and WFP, among others.

Publications - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch) 


Dutch government launches website detailing development results

The Dutch government has launched a website featuring the results of its development cooperation in 2016. The platform offers the ability to distinguish between different themes, countries, projects, methodologies, and SDGs. Findings include:

  • 1.8 million more women and girls were given access to modern contraception;
  • 1,800 hectares of land have been cleared of landmines;
  • 15 million people received more and better food;
  • 2.8 million more people received access to clean drinking water;
  • 270,000 jobs were created or preserved;
  •  2.2 million people were given access to renewable energy from the sun, wind, or bio gas.

Website - Os Resultaten (in Dutch)