Dutch development cooperation budget published for 2020

On september 17, 2019, the Dutch celebrated 'Prinsjesdag' (Prince's day), which marks the start of the parliamentary year. The minister of finance Wopke Hoekstra presented to the king, the queen, and the cabinet, the overall national budget for 2020, including the budget controlled by the foreign trade and development ministry.  The so-called Homogenious Group for Development Cooperation (HGIS) document was also publishedconsolidating all the funding categorized as Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the development and the other ministries. 

The development budget, which is linked to the gross national income (GNI), remains largely at the same level than in 2019, at €3.1 billion (US$3.5 billion) despite  economic growth. This represents 0.53% of the GNI, the lowest percentage since 1973, and marks the seventh year since the Netherlands left the 1% club of donors. 

There are, however, some changes among the five development budget lines. Budget lines 1 and 2 will increase from 2019 to 2020: sustainable economic development and trade and investments, and sustainable development, food security, water and climate will be allocated €35 million and €30 million (US$39 million and US$34 million) more respectively. Those that have been reduced are lines 3 (social issues), 4 (peace, security and sustainable development) and 5 (multilateral collaborations and other areas), decreasing €3 million, €10 million and €51 million (US$3 million, US$11 million and US$51 million) respectively. 

Press release - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Global Netherlands

Dutch parliament passes motion to return to 0.7% of GNI to ODA target

Following the publication of the foreign trade and development cooperation budget of the Netherlands on September 17, 2019, the Dutch parliament approved a motion to allocate 0.7% of the Gross National Income (GNI) to official development assistance (ODA).

The motion that was submitted by the Party for the Animals and co-submitted by Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA, labor party), Lilian Marijnissen (Socialist Party), Jesse Klaver (Green Party), Kuzu (DENK), Kees van der Staaij (SGP and Henk Krol), which jointly hold 51 seats in parliament.

Additionally, three out of the four government coalition parties, namely Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Christian Union, and D66, also voted in favor of the motion, which led to a majority of 95 votes.

Motion letter - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Global Netherlands

Civil society organizations respond to Netherlands' 2020 development budget

Oxfam and NGO umbrella organization Partos responded with criticism to the publication on September 17, 2019, of the Dutch foreign trade and development cooperation budget for 2020.

The Dutch government's decision to lower the percentage of gross domestic income (GNI) allocated to development spending despite steady economic growth, the organizations say, has resulted in a flatlining development budget. Partos and Oxfam also criticized dependency on private funding to fight climate change as well as the decreased budget for civil society organizations, especially in times of increased political repression and the closing of civic spaces. Partos and Oxfam praised the increased attention given to fighting tax avoidance by large multinationals, however.

Press release - Oxfam (in Dutch)

Press release - Partos (in Dutch)

Global Netherlands

Dutch governments informs parliament about European and international climate policy

The Dutch government sent a letter to parliament with details about its EU and international policy and other relevant developments around climate change, in response to a parliamentary request in September of 2018 to obtain regular information on international affairs regarding climate change policy. 

The letter, signed by the development minister, Sigrid Kaag, and the minister of economic affairs and climate change, Eric Wiebes, outlines the ambitions of the European Commission to reduce CO2 emissions in the EU, information around bilateral diplomacy of the Netherlands, and information on EU and Dutch climate-related funding to developing countries.

The letter also incorporates the recommendations of the report on climate change of the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV), an independent body which advises government and parliament on foreign policy. 

Letter to parliament - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Global Netherlands Agriculture

Funding for global fight against HIV/AIDS stagnating

According to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, donor government disbursements to combat HIV in low and middle-income countries totaled just US$8.1 billion in 2018. This spending is barely higher than the disbursements from a decade ago, a fact that advocates say threatens the progress in the global fight against the disease.

Since 2010, donor governments have reduced funding by more than US$8.1 billion for HIV, particularly in bilateral support. The 2008 global financial crisis and current humanitarian challenges such as the rising number of refugees in need of governmental support have cut into spending on HIV treatment and response.

The stagnating donor contributions leave an estimated US$7 billion gap between resources and need for 2020. The lack of funding is predicted to impact East and South African countries particularly significantly; some rely on external funding for up to 80% of their HIV response.

Report - Kaiser & UNAIDS

Press release - UNAIDS

Global Global health

G20 leaders adopt joint declaration on global issues in Osaka

The G20 representatives adopted the 'G20 Osaka Leaders' Declaration', consisting of fives sections which cover a variety of global urgent issues: 

  1. Global economy;
  2. Fostering robust global economic growth;
  3. Global finance anti-corruption;
  4. Creating a virtuous cycle of growth by addressing inequalities;
  5. Realizing an inclusive and sustainable world.

The declaration also discusses pressing issues in global health, particularly the urgent need for universal health coverage(UHC) and a cooperative effort to address antimicrobial resistance. Further discussion will take place at the G20 health ministers' meeting in October 2019.

Press release - G20

Global community reaffirm their commitment to universal health coverage at G20

The minister of health and welfare of South Korea joined the Joint Session of the G20 Finance and Health Ministers to reiterate South Korea’s commitment to achieving sustainable development through universal health coverage (UHC) in developing countries.

South Korea’s official development assistance and air ticket solidarity levy (a fee collected from all air passengers departing Korea) will be used to help fund the effort. Attendees of the session emphasized that the establishment of high quality and sustainable healthcare and medical systems are the responsibility of both health and finance ministries, and focused on methods for building cooperation between two often separate arms of government.

Press release – MOHW (in Korean)

Development leaders gather in Brussels for European Development Days, June 18-19

The 2019 European Development Days, Europe’s leading forum on development cooperation, focused on addressing inequalities and inclusive progress. The event, held in Brussels from June 18-19, 2019 brought together 144 world leaders and nearly 67,000 participants. 

High level speakers and participants at the event included World Health Organization (WHO) director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Her Majesty Mathilde, Queen of the Belgians, Rwandan president Paul Kagame, Senegalese president Macky Sall, Belgian prime minister Charles Michel, Bhutanese prime minister Lotay Tshering, European Parliament president Antonio Tajani, commissioners Neven Mimica, Christos Stylianides, Marianne Thyssen, Pierre Moscovici and Mariya Gabriel, Britain's Tony Blair, and David Miliband of the International Rescue Committee.

Website - European Development Days

EU and WHO to co-invest €102 million in health systems in more than 80 countries

The EU and the World Health Organisation (WHO) signed a €102 million (USD $115 million) contribution agreement to invest in building health care systems to provide quality services in more than 80 African, Caribbean, Pacific, and Asian countries. 

The EU’s contribution to the 'Health Systems Strengthening for Universal Health Coverage Partnership Program' was announced on June 18, 2019 at the European Development Days. The funding will help WHO strengthen health system capacity in receiving countries at national and regional levels, facilitate access to medicines and health products, and improve the health workforce, health financing, health information and education, and service delivery. 

Press release - European Commission

EU Global Global health

Health professional meeting reemphasizes on UHC

The World Medical Association (WMA) and the Japan Medical Association (JMA) jointly adopted the Tokyo Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The Tokyo Declaration reemphasizes Japan's commitment to the promotion of universal coverage and dramatically improved public health and medical standards.

WMA and JMA welcomed health and finance ministers to the meeting. They are expected to lobby again for UHC promotion during the upcoming G20 Osaka Summit.

News article - MIX Online (in Japanese)

News article - (in Japanese)

Global Japan Global health