This profile has been updated in October 2018.
Strategic priorities
  • During this government’s term of office, development cooperation is set to focus on four closely-connected, overarching objectives: preventing conflict and instability; reducing poverty and social inequality; promoting sustainable and inclusive growth and climate action worldwide; and strengthening the earning capacity of the Netherlands.
  • 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, the focus of Dutch development assistance is shifting to unstable regions of the West African Sahel, the Horn of Africa, North Africa and the Middle East in order to tackle root causes of poverty, migration, terrorism and climate change.
Key opportunities
  • The new government is committed to increasing ODA levels by US$2.4 billion over the coming four years. This provides an opportunity to advocate for increased funding to programs, especially in Dutch priority areas.
  • The strong geographic focus of Dutch development assistance towards the West African Sahel, the Horn of Africa, North Africa and the Middle East comes with funding increases: the government has announced it will increase financing to these regions by at least one third during its term of office. 
  • Strengthening the position of women and girls will be a cross-cutting goal of Dutch development policy during this government’s term of office. This offers opportunities for cooperation for organizations working in this field.

Key Questions

the big six

Yemen is a focus 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 (US$1.1 billion) for 2018 to 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?

  • During this government’s term of office, development policy and funding will focus on four closely-connected, overarching objectives: preventing conflict and instability; reducing poverty and social inequality; promoting sustainable and inclusive growth and climate action worldwide; and strengthening the earning capacity of the Netherlands.
  • The longstanding thematic priority areas are being carried forward by the current ‘Rutte III’ government. There are four : 1) security and the rule of law, 2) water management, 3) food security, and 4) sexual reproductive health and rights (including HIV/AIDS).
  • Focus of the Dutch development assistance will be on the West African Sahel, the Horn of Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. Spending in these regions will increase by at least one third during this government’s term of office. 

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

  • The current government 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 Netherlands will increase its funding to and development collaboration with the West African Sahel, the Horn of Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. This offers opportunities for increased collaboration and funding for organizations working in these regions in line with Dutch priorities.
  • Strengthening the position of women and girls will be a cross-cutting goal of Dutch development policy during this legislative period, opening up opportunities for organizations working in this field.