This profile has been updated in March 2018.
Strategic priorities
  • According to the coalition agreement, the government’s development cooperation policy will focus on combatting the root causes of poverty, migration, terror, and climate change.
  • Under the new government, the Netherlands will maintain its four traditional thematic priorities: 1) security and the rule of law, 2) water management, 3) food security, and 4) sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR, including HIV/AIDS).  
  • Geographically, Dutch development assistance is concentrated on sub-Saharan Africa and low-income countries. However, the current government announced in its coalition agreement a review of its existing partner-country relationships, which will entail the addition of Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq.
Key opportunities
  • The new government is committed to gradually increasing ODA levels over the coming four years. This provides an opportunity to advocate for increased funding to programs, especially in Dutch priority areas.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently reviewing its strategy for development cooperation. In this process, it seeks input from civil society organizations (CSO), providing opportunities to engage on priorities and focus areas.

Key Questions

the big six

Yemen is a priority country for the Netherlands, and one with which it has a long-term development relationship; since 2015, Dutch bilateral cooperation has focused heavily on humanitarian assistance within the country.

Netherlands

Outlook

How will the Netherlands' ODA develop? — What will the Netherlands' ODA focus on? —What are key opportunities for shaping the Netherlands' development policy? read more

How will the Netherlands’ ODA develop?

  • The current government, in place since October 2017, commits in its coalition agreement to compensate for the former government’s ODA budget cuts. In addition, the government has announced its intention to provide an additional €1 billion over the same period. Overall, the current government plans to add a total of €2.2 billion funding to the ODA budget between 2018 and 2022.
  • The Netherlands uses its development budget to cover the costs of hosting refugees in their first year of arrival in the Netherlands, which puts pressure on the funding available for global development programs. Costs for hosting refugees in the Netherlands will continue to constrain funding available for ‘regular’ development programs in coming years.

What will the Netherlands’ ODA focus on?

  • The new government will center its development policy and funding around  combatting the root causes of poverty, migration, terror, and climate change. The longstanding thematic priority areas 1) security and the rule of law, 2) water management, 3) food security, and 4) sexual reproductive health and rights (including HIV/AIDS) will be carried forward.
  • Strengthening private sector development, public-private partnerships, and, more generally, linking development cooperation with Dutch foreign trade interests are also likely to remain in focus.

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

  • The current government (Rutte III Cabinet), in office since October 2017, has committed to increasing ODA levels over the coming four years. This provides an opportunity to advocate for increased funding to specific areas, especially around the Dutch priority areas.
  • The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently reviewing its strategy for development cooperation. The Ministry is therefore seeking input of civil society organizations (CSO). The review process is a critical time for CSOs to advocate for increased ODA funding and funding into specific issue areas. Furthermore, the current government is reviewing the number and selection of partner countries, providing an opportunity to shape the geographic allocation of Dutch ODA.