Policy Context

The Dutch government uses several related terms, such as “maternal mortality”, “child mortality (under 5 years)", “maternal and infant care", “safe delivery services”, and “birth attendance", and “unsafe/safe abortion”. The Netherlands sees such concepts as integral to SRHR and primary health care, which are priorities outlined in the June 2022 Development Strategy, March 2023 Global Health Strategy, and May 2023 Africa Strategy.

According to a 2013 review conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs evaluation service, SRHR has been a priority in Dutch development cooperation policy since 1994. The Netherlands’ domestic and international support for SRHR is grounded in the international human rights covenants and conventions that it has ratified and related UN resolutions and declarations. The Netherlands has remained largely consistent in its SRHR approach, of which:abbrMNCH remains a key component.

The Netherlands views MNCH, along with SRHR and health care systems more broadly, as a fundamental part of global health. The Netherlands argues that access to quality and affordable primary health care is a means to reduce inequalities between healthy life expectancies both within and between countries, stabilizing fertility rates, and decreasing maternal mortality and child mortality.

Within Netherlands‘ Feminist Foreign Policy, SRHR is a focus area. More specifically, MNCH is linked three key themes in Dutch policy: global health & SRHR, humanitarian assistance, and WASH.

How is the Netherlands’ bilateral ODA to MNCH evolving?

Bilateral funding from the Netherlands has remained at a consistent level since 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic did not seem to have significant impact on funding levels.

How does the Netherlands allocate bilateral MNCH ODA?

The top recipient countries of Netherlands’ MNCH ODA are in line with its trade and development priority countries. The largest funding to maternal and newborn health ODA in 2021 came from reproductive health, which is a much higher share compared to other DAC donors and in line with the Netherlands’ strong focus on SRHR. The largest funding to child health ODA came from reproductive health, basic health infrastructure, and basic nutrition.

Key Bodies

How is ODA to MNCH calculated?

ODA to MNCH is estimated using the Muskoka2 methodology which estimates the proportion that each relevant OECD CRS purpose code contributes to reproductive health (RH), maternal and newborn health (MNH), and child health (CH). Disbursements that benefit MNCH were determined using CRS purpose codes for all donors except GAVI, UNFPA, and UNICEF, for which fixed percentages of disbursements were considered to benefit MNCH.

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