Netherlands - Nutrition

Food security is a long-standing Dutch development priority 

Food security is one of seven themes in Dutch development cooperation policy, which is set out to receive part of the increased ODA budget, according to the government’s strategy paper, ‘Doing What the Netherlands is Good At’, published in 2022. The strategy suggests that funding for food security will receive US$57 million of additional and reallocated funding in 2022, US$85 million in 2023, and US$113 million from 2024 onward. The Netherlands aims to lift 32 million people (especially children) out of malnourishment by 2030.  

The Dutch government integrates a gender equality dimension into its food security programs. In line with the Netherlands’s overall focus on sexual and reproductive health (SRH), it prioritizes the nutritional status of adolescents, particularly women of reproductive age (given the importance of nutrition during pregnancy). Key commitments by the Netherlands include a US$321 million pledge to the Nutrition for Growth Initiative (N4G; 2013-2020), with funds equally split between nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific interventions (see box). In 2019 (the latest year for which data is available), the Netherlands disbursed US$22 million as nutrition-sensitive investments according to the 2020 Global Nutrition Report. While spending peaked at US$64 million in 2016, spending decreased to US$22 million in 2019. The Netherlands pledged US$85 million to the multilateral agricultural research network CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) between 2022 -2024. Funding for ‘basic nutrition’ (nutrition-specific) as reported to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) increased from US$31 million in 2019 to US$43 million in 2020.  

The Netherlands implements a multi-stakeholder approach to ODA for nutrition, combining government, civil society, the private sector, and knowledge institutes. The 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.