Netherlands Donor Profile

Last updated: March 2017.


the big six

How will the Netherlands’ ODA develop?

  • The Netherlands has implemented massive ODA budget cuts since 2012. The government agreed to cut ODA by €1 billion below the 0.7% of GNI target from 2017 onwards. However, the March 2017 elections might change this trajectory, as the majority of parties have called for increases in ODA in their election manifestos.
  • Costs for hosting refugees in the Netherlands will continue to constrain the funding that is available for ‘regular’ development programs in the coming years, as parts of the funding to cover these costs in 2016 and 2017 have been frontloaded and will be financed from future ODA budgets until 2020.

What will the Netherlands’ ODA focus on?

  • Dutch ODA currently focuses on four thematic priorities: 1) security and the rule of law, 2) water, 3) food security, and 4) sexual reproductive health and rights (including HIV/AIDS). These priorities are expected to largely remain in place after the March 2017 elections, though there might be changes in focus within them.
  • Strengthening private sector development, public-private partnerships, and, more generally, linking development cooperation with Dutch foreign trade interests are also likely to remain a focus for the Netherlands

What are key opportunities for shaping the Netherlands’ development policy?

  • On 15 March 2017, the Netherlands held general elections. The current post-election and coalition-building talks provide an opportunity to advocate for increased development budgets as well as to shape Dutch development policy and its thematic priorities for the coming years.
  • All political parties have called for an increased or stabilized development budget in their election manifestos, except for the two parties with the most votes: the conservative VVD and far-right PVV. However, the VVD has stated that it will not govern with the PVV, and will need at least three other parties to form a majority. The new coalition government will thus present opportunities to generate more resources for development programmes, particularly for thematic priority areas.





  • 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.

  • Dutch Cabinet approves €2 million in emergency assistance to address food insecurity and malnutrition

    The Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, Lilliane Ploumen, has announced €2 million in emergency relief will go to four countries or regions currently facing severe hunger: Yemen, North-East Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan. With this contribution, the Netherlands responds to the United Nations' call to combat the current dire situation of food insecurity and malnutrition in these geographies. Since the end of 2016, the Dutch Cabinet has contributed approximately €33 million for this purpose.

    The €2 million will be channeled through ten collaborating relief organizations (SHO), who have a lot of experience working in emergency contexts. These organizations have also coordinated on a national fundraising campaign to collect emergency relief funds. Initiated on March 6, 2017, the campaign has raised more than €5 million to date.

    Website - Federal Government

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  • Annual meeting of Inter-American Development Bank and Inter-American Investment Corporation takes place in Paraguay

    The 58th Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Investment Corporation takes place in Ascunción, Paraguay. This official gathering is a forum for discussion among the institutions' Governors, many of whom are finance ministers of the regional and non-regional member countries, central bank presidents, and advisors. Representatives from multilateral financial institutions, development agencies, and commercial and investment banks are also invited to attend.

    Location: Asunción, Paraguay

    Website - IABD

  • Dutch Committee for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation convenes to discuss report on the World Bank’s Group annual meeting

    On April 12, 2017, the Dutch Committee for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation meets to discuss the Dutch report of the World Bank Group’s annual meeting. The annual meeting took place in Washington D.C. in October 2016 and focused on the Bank’s future strategy regarding two priorities: combating extreme poverty and achieving shared prosperity in 2030. Climate agreements, the global goals on sustainability, and the dynamic formula of the Bank were also discussed. The report under discussion was submitted to Parliament in December by Ministers Ploumen (Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade) and Dijsselbloem (Finance).

    Location: The Hague, the Netherlands

    Website – Second Chamber

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