Food security is one of the Netherland’s long-standing development priorities

Food security is one of four main themes of Dutch development cooperation policy, according to the government’s strategy paper, ‘Investing in Global Prospects’, published in 2018. According to the government’s budget, €340 million (US$383 million) will be allocated to food security in 2019. Eliminating hunger and malnutrition is one of the three priorities of the Netherlands’ overall strategy for food security. Against this backdrop, the Netherlands aims to lift 32 million people (especially children) out of undernourishment between now and 2030.

Key commitments by the Netherlands include a pledge of €300 million (US$338 million) to the Nutrition for Growth Initiative (2013-2020).

The Netherlands integrates a gender equality dimension into its food security programs. In line with the Netherlands’s overall focus on sexual and reproductive health, a specific priority is the nutritional status of adolescents, and particularly girls of reproductive age (given the importance of nutrition during pregnancy). Key commitments by the Netherlands include a pledge of €300 million (US$338 million) to the Nutrition for Growth Initiative (2013-2020), with funds equally split between nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific interventions.


  • Nutrition-specific: interventions with primary objective to improve nutrition (i.e., support for exclusive breastfeeding, supplementary feeding, etc.)
  • Nutrition sensitive: interventions addressing underlying causes of malnutrition and consider cross-sector impacts (i.e., improve access to diverse diet, etc.)

The Netherlands implements a multi-stakeholder approach to ODA for nutrition, combining government, civil society, the private sector, and knowledge institutes. This public-private partnership (PPP) approach is also known as the “Dutch Diamond”. The main PPP within the field of nutrition is the Amsterdam Initiative Against Malnutrition (AIM). It aims to leverage the experience of Dutch companies in the food and nutrition industries across all stages of the food value chain to ensure sustainable improvements in nutrition in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and South Africa.

The Directorate of Inclusive Green Growth (IGG) is responsible for policies related to food security

Within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) is responsible for designing and coordinating the implementation of Dutch development policy. Within DGIS, the Directorate of Inclusive Green Growth (IGG) focuses on policies related to food security, climate, water, energy, and natural resources. The directorate includes a specific thematic cluster on food security.