Dutch development budget for 2019 increases spending on youth and humanitarian assistance

At the start of the new parliamentary year, Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra presented the Netherlands' 2019 national budget. The budget largely follows priorities already presented in the Netherland's latest development strategy, such as diplomacy, defense, and development cooperation. Additional details on official development assistance (ODA) spending include:

  • A €600-million boost on education, jobs for young people, and better opportunities for women.
  • A €165-million increase for humanitarian assistance in 2019, bringing total funding up to €370 million
  • The launch a new initiative for psychosocial care

News article - Government of the Netherlands

Netherlands Education

Dutch foreign minister reinforces Netherlands' commitment to human rights at award ceremony

Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok spoke on challenges to and successes in human rights principles during the ceremony of the Human Rights Tulip Award, an annual award for individuals or organisations that promote human rights worldwide in innovative ways. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, was this year's recipient. 

Blok reiterated his country's support for multilateralism and willingness to working with UNHCR and the UN High Commissioner as well as other partners to pursue an active human rights agenda, for a safer, more stable, and just world.

Full speech - Government of the Netherlands


Dutch development minister exchanges Tweets with Rihanna about support for education

Music superstar Rihanna, who is an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), sent a Tweet to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and development minister Sigrid Kaag, ahead of the Global Citizen festival, an annual music festival aimed at raising money for global development issues. The singer asked Rutte and Kaag if they will indeed commit the €100 million that civil society organizations are asking of the GPE.

Kaag responded positively, tweeting back: "Hi @Rihanna- this is music to our ears. The Netherlands is firmly back in education! All will be revealed in NY next month. Hope to see you there!"

The Global Citizen festival will be held on September 29, 2018 in New York City.

News article - AD (in Dutch)

Netherlands Education

Dutch development minister highlights issue of food insecurity at humanitarian studies conference

Dutch development minister Sigrid Kaag used her keynote speech at the annual Humanitarian Studies Conference in the Hague to highlight the increasing number of people suffering from malnutrition and food insecurity. According to Kaag, almost 124 million people across 51 countries faced acute food insecurity in 2017 - nearly 60% of which was caused by conflict. Kaag also spoke to the implications and limitations of UN resolution 2417 on conflict and hunger adopted this year by the Netherland's initiative. She concluded with a call to researchers, local civil populations, and other nations to work together to end hunger. 

Publication - Government of the Netherlands


Dutch government to provide €10-million increase in funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment

During the 22nd International AIDS Conference that took place in Amsterdam from June 23-27, 2018, Dutch foreign minister Sigrid Kaag announced that the government will be earmarking an additional €10 million to make HIV prevention and antiretroviral drugs more accessible to vulnerable groups, such as men who have sex with men, drug users, transgender people, youth, and sex workers. Over the next few years, the funding will be invested in regions where the disease is continuing to spread: Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East, and West and North Africa.

In 2018, Netherlands will spend around €430 million to better protect the sexual and reproductive rights of women, men, and young people in developing countries.

News article - Government of the Netherlands

Netherlands Global health

Kees Blokland, director of Agriterra, becomes member of new EU Taskforce Rural Africa

Kees Blokland, director of Agriterra, recently was appointed member of the EU Taskforce Rural Africa, a group of 11 experts in the field of agriculture, trade, and migration created by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan.  

In addition to providing substance to the new European agricultural policy in regards to Africa, the task force will present proposals on how the EU can contribute to the SDGs and advise it on how to deal with the aging population in rural Africa. Finally, the task force needs to present proposals for better coordination between the different government programs and the active players in the field of agriculture and economic development in Africa.

Press release - Agriterra website

Dutch parliament debates new development policy

On June 28, 2018, the Dutch Parliament debated a new foreign trade and development strategy, spearheaded by Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag. Members of Parliament submitted a total of 21 motions that were discussed on July 3, 2018, covering topics ranging from funding to education to choice of partner countries and the situation of women and girls in humanitarian settings. 

The full official transcript of the debate is not yet available.

Debate video - Parliament Website (in Dutch)


Dutch government to prioritize circular economy, water, and energy at high-level political forum on sustainable development

The Dutch government has presented their priorities for the upcoming meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development that will be held from July 9-18, 2018 in New York. The forum's central themes are water, energy, urban development, sustainable consumption and production, and preservation of ecosystem (corresponding to SDG 6, 7, 11, 12, 15), with the Netherlands choosing to focus on water, energy, and the circular economy.

The Netherlands will be represented at the conference by the State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, Stientje van Veldhovenand, and the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Joke Brandt. 

Announcement page - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Netherlands Agriculture

Dutch parliament discusses new development policy with key stakeholders

On June 20, 2018, the Dutch parliament hosted a roundtable discussion on Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag's new foreign and development policyThere were three rounds of statements and questions structured around the private sector and NGOs, as well as academia and knowledge institutions. Partos, the Dutch NGO umbrella organization, had previously commended the policy's SDG focus but criticized its emphasis on combating migration through development policy. 

Further discussions will take place during a parliamentary debate happening June 28, 2018.

The debate can be followed here (in Dutch). All positions from speakers can be accessed here (in Dutch).

Press release - Partos (in Dutch)


The Netherlands launches SDG Facility for public-private partnerships

Sigrid Kaag, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, has launched the Sustainable Development Goals Partnership Facility (SDGP). The facility will fund projects by public authorities, businesses, NGOs, and knowledge institutions aimed at sustainable food production and private-sector development.

The total budget of the facility is €70 million, half of which will be made available at the end of this year and the other half in 2019. The SDGP is the successor of the Sustainable Enterprise and Food Security Facility (FDOV), which supported more than 50 projects in various developing countries, including Ethiopia and Kenya. The SDGP requires 50% co-financing. The maximum funding provided by the Ministry is €3 million per project.

Press release - government of the Netherlands

Netherlands Nutrition