Netherlands approves additional US$574 million per year for ODA despite low confidence in new coalition

On January 10, 2022, the Netherlands presented a new cabinet, Rutte IV, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Liberal Party (VVD) after the longest government formation process in Dutch history. The coalition agreement approved new measures to prioritize health care, climate, education, housing, and the COVID-19 crisis while increasing the official development assistance (ODA) budget.

According to the coalition agreement, the Netherlands is set to take advantage of low interest rates by increasing its spending significantly. The spending increase includes a structural increase in the government budget of €29.0 billion (US$33.0 billion) until 2025, which includes around €500 million (US$574 million) annually for development cooperation. 

Despite the coalition agreement and the structural spending increase, confidence in the new government has reached a historic low. According to a recent poll, 27% of the Dutch voters are moderately confident in the government and 2% of voters are highly confident, meanwhile, 65% have limited or no confidence at all in the new government. 

The new Ministers and Secretaries of State took their oath under the supervision of the Dutch King, Willem-Alexander. The new Dutch Minister of Finance, Sigrid Kaag of Democrats 66 (D66), took her oath via video link as she tested positive for COVID-19 a few days prior to the ceremony.

News article - NOS (in Dutch)

News article - NU.nl (in Dutch)

News article - Politico