The Donor Tracker team wants to better understand its users' experience and to gather ideas about how we can make the Donor Tracker even more valuable to the global development community throughout the rest of 2020 and beyond. That's where we could use your help. We've put together a short survey to ask you directly about how you use the Donor Tracker, which content and features you find most useful, and the kinds of things you would like to see. Your responses will shape and inform new features that we bring to the website.
The Dutch Minister of Finance, Wopke Hoekstra, briefed the Dutch parliament and the Senate of Developments on Invest International, a new state-owned investment company for sustainable development in low-income countries. Because Invest International does not need to compete with private investors, they will be able to provide financing options for applicant companies who would be denied credit in the private market.
Invest International has a starting capital of US$697 million and will receive US$8 million in annual funding. The company has two shareholders: the Dutch government and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), owning 51% and 49% of the shares, respectively.
The Minister of Finance also assigned Joost Oorthuizen as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Ineke Bussemaker as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Both will take office starting October 18, 2020, in temporary positions during the build-up phase of Invest International.
On September 2, 2020, the Dutch Parliament voted to engage with Dutch medical electronics giant Philips to address ventilator shortages in the Netherlands and to examine how these devices could be made available in low-income countries.
Philips has a surplus of almost 30,000 ventilators due to the premature termination of a contract with the United States. Jesse Klaver, leader of the Dutch green-left party (Groen Links) and one of the members of parliament who proposed the motion said during the debate that the COVID1- crisis "called for global solidarity and if there are additional ventilators the company could give them away to developing countries in need.”
The former CEO of chemical company DSM, Feike Sijbesma, will conclude his work as COVID-19 special envoy for the Dutch government at the end of September 2020. During his time as COVID-19 special envoy, he mapped the developments of possible COVID-19 vaccines and worked to obtain sufficient test capacity.
On September 3, 2020, the Dutch Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation approved the creation of a task force to promote trade and economic development between the Netherlands and continental Africa and the formation of a public-private 'Africa coalition'.
The state of affairs regarding global climate diplomacy, the global approach to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the outcome of the Global Vaccine Summit were also discussed at the meeting. The committee also gave clearance for the formation of Invest International, a new Dutch development institution.
Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, announced Canada's intention to intervene in the case of The Gambia v. Myanmar. Canada and the Netherlands will work together to assist the Gambia, paying special attention to "crimes related to sexual and gender-based violence, including rape".
This case involves allegations of violations of the Genocide Convention. The Gambia has brought the case against Myanmar and aims to show how the Rohingya in Myanmar were subject to systemic discrimination and atrocities.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands appointed Paul Huijts as its new Secretary-General. He has been both the Secretary-General of the Ministry of General Affairs since 2014 and the Director-General Public Health at the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare, and Sport. The Secretary-General is the highest official of the Ministry and is the first official point of contact for the Minister.
The Directorate for International Research and Policy Evaluation (IOB) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands has informed the Dutch Parliament of a delay in the presentation of the policy review around sustainable economic development, trade, and investment. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, it is estimated that the policy review will be presented to Parliament mid-2021.
Evaluations of financial instruments included in the policy review include the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) funds, Agriterra, and Solidaridad, as well as trade policy and tax policy.
Corinne Ellemeet, a Dutch parliament member of the Green-Left party (GroenLinks), expressed concern about the secrecy of negotiations with COVID-19 vaccine developers.
Ellemeet raised the question of whether pharmaceutical companies will be granted liability protection. She also asked why the identities of the seven negotiators leading the discussions with the industry on behalf of the European Commission have been kept anonymous, how much AstraZeneca (one of the vaccine developers) would profit under the agreement, and whether the Netherlands would help cover claims for damages if a vaccine has negative side effects.
On August 31, 2020, the European Commission (EC) announced that the EU and its member states, including the Netherlands, have joined COVAX. The EU has contributed US$459 million to the coalition.
Launched in April of 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO), COVAX's goal is to ensure equal access to vaccines in all countries of all income levels. Once a vaccine is approved, each country will receive a share based on its population. COVAX is in negotiations with nine vaccine producers and aims to secure 2 billion vaccines by the end of 2021.
The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, updated parliament on the international commitment of the Netherlands to support people with disabilities in low-income countries as part of the ‘leave no one behind’ agenda. People with disabilities are not a separate target group of Dutch international cooperation policy, but the Netherlands contributes to Education Cannot Wait (ECW) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), both of which prioritize reaching marginalized groups, such as children with disabilities.
Inclusion is central to the development of the new policy framework ‘Strengthening Civil Society’ from 2021 to 2025 and the corresponding country projects reflect that. The Dutch embassy in Bangladesh will fund the development organization Building Resources Across Communities (BRAC) to provide people with disabilities greater access to sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Dutch funding will also support the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSCC) to improve sanitation and hygiene for people with disabilities in 13 countries in Africa and Asia.
The European Commission (EC) has concluded exploratory talks with CureVac regarding the purchase of 225 million vaccines given a successful development of the vaccine.
"We are doing everything we can to provide Europe and developing countries with sufficient vaccines quickly,” said Dutch Minister of Health, Hugo de Jong, referring to Dutch pledges to donate vaccines to vulnerable countries.
The Joint Negotiation Team, representing the EC, Spain, Sweden, Poland, and the four countries of the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance (Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands) has been responsible for conducting negotiations on promising COVID-19 vaccines.
The European Commission (EC) completed exploratory talks regarding a possible COVID-19 vaccine provided by the Dutch company Janssen Pharmaceutica. The EU Member States will have the opportunity to buy 400 million vaccines, 200 million initially with the option for an additional 200 million if the development of the vaccine is successful.
The negotiations with Janssen Pharmaceutica were led by the Netherlands, Spain, and the European Council. The Netherlands plays a pivotal role in the creation of the vaccine because its development and production will primarily take place in the Dutch city of Leiden. An important negotiating point for the Netherlands is the possibility to donate vaccines to vulnerable countries.
Join the Donor Tracker this Thursday, August 6, 2020, from 16:00-17:00 (CEST), for a webinar addressing the pressing need for international climate finance in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
In 2015, the latest in a series of global climate change agreements was signed in Paris. The Paris Agreement includes a pledge made by donor countries to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 for climate action in LMICs. This upcoming Donor Tracker webinar will examine the role that ODA can and should play in funding for climate action, including the US$100 billion target. It will include an overview of trends in ODA-related climate funding and policies by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) donors.
This webinar, and our recently published report on climate finance and ODA, complements the recent addition of ‘Climate’ as a sector of analysis across the Donor Tracker Donor Profiles. Climate was added this year in recognition of the importance of climate action to the future of global development efforts.
The Directorate Social Development (DSO) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a study report that charts recent trends and developments regarding reproductive health commodities (RHCs) and outlines the DSO's future priority interventions.
The key themes identified by the DSO are supply chain management issues in last-mile distribution, a decrease in donor funding which requires domestic resource mobilization, and the consensus that private sector involvement is necessary to meet the increasing demand for RHCs. The document also covers details pertaining to the focus countries of the Dutch development policy for RHCs (Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger).
Thirty-five countries, including Argentina, Egypt, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and the United States joined the COVID-19 Food Coalition, an initiative launched in June by the Italian government and lead by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
The alliance is a multi-stakeholder platform focusing on mobilizing political, financial, and technical assistance to support the medium- and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food systems and agriculture.
Join Donor Tracker this Friday, July 24 from 15:00-16:00 (CEST) for a webinar exploring donor financing for women’s economic empowerment, featuring analysis from the Donor Tracker team and our partner, the ONE Campaign.
Gender equality, including women's financial inclusion and economic empowerment, has gained increasing attention from the international donor community in recent years; but to what extent can donors' rhetorical commitment to the issue be seen reflected in data on donors' financing for women's economic empowerment? In this Donor Tracker webinar, Kalila Jaeger and Isabela Vera from the Donor Tracker and Ebba Henningsson from ONE will guide participants through an introduction to the OECD’s gender equality policy marker, discuss the current state of donor finance for gender-related development programming, and explore trends in donor countries' spending on economic empowerment initiatives for women.
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.
The parties within the Netherlands' ruling coalition were unable to reach a consensus regarding the Netherlands’ ODA budget and unable to agree on what to do with the advice of the Advisory Council for International Relations (AIV), which suggested the government add an additional €1.0 billion (US$1.1 billion) to support the most vulnerable countries in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
The disagreement centered on the link between the Netherlands’ ODA spending and the country's domestic economic growth. Given that the Netherlands' economy is shrinking as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Democrats 66 (D66), and ChristianUnion (CU) want to eliminate the link between the country's gross national income (GNI) and ODA. This would automatically prevent an estimated 10% cut into the 2020 ODA budget. However, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) wants to maintain the policy, as it was part of the Coalition Agreement.
The parties are also in disagreement on whether to act on the AIV's advice and to allocate an additional €1.0 billion (US$1.1 billion) in ODA to support countries in dealing with COVID-19. The CDA, D66, and CU are in favor of this allocation, while the VVD is more reluctant.
The final discussion to reach an agreement on the GNI/ODA link and on the advice of the AIV will likely take place in August, together with the 2021 budget discussions.
On July 2, 2020, from 16:00-17:00 (CEST), Donor Tracker will host a second webinar on donor countries’ international COVID-19 responses following the Global Goal Summit. The Summit, held on June 27, raised US$6.9 billion for developing globally accessible COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments.
The Donor Tracker's expert team will analyze the Summit's outcomes and discuss implications for donor countries’ further international responses to the pandemic.