Policy Update

After considering AIV's US$1.1 billion recommendation, Dutch cabinet instead announces US$565 million for combating COVID-19 globally

On July 10, 2020, the Dutch cabinet reacted to recommendations given by the Advisory Council of International Affairs (AIV) on the Netherlands’ approach to combating COVID-19 globally. The recommendations, published on May 11, 2020, advised the cabinet to make €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) available to support the most vulnerable countries in combating COVID-19. The AIV also advised the cabinet to promote a leading role for the EU in the COVID-19 crisis and to keep the Netherlands’ ODA-expenditures at its current levels, despite the drop in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The cabinet decided to make an additional €500 million (US$565 million) available from general resources as well as to frontload €464 million (US$524 million) from the upcoming years. 

Out of the additional €500 million (US$565 million), €350 million (US$395 million) will be allocated for compensating ODA-losses resulting from the expected GDP-decline, and €150 million (US$170 million) will be allocated to directly support the most vulnerable countries in the current crisis through a variety of measures.

Out of the €150 million (US$170 million), €48 million (US$54 million) will be invested in humanitarian assistance, €27 million (US$30 million) in health care support and in the prevention of further spreading of the virus, and €5 million (US$8 million) in the mitigation of the socio-economic consequences of the crisis 

Dutch development organizations, under the Partos umbrella, responded, calling these measures insufficient to combat COVID-19 globally and not in line with the advice that the AIV gave. Those organizations also expressed their concern that €464 million (US$524 million) will be frontloaded from future budgets, thereby only postponing a decline in ODA.

Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

News article - Partos.nl (in Dutch)