Displaying 1 - 20 of 382

Donor Tracker to host webinar on education in emergencies

Join the Donor Tracker on Tuesday, November 24, 2020, at 15:00-16:00 CET for a webinar addressing education in emergencies, featuring experts from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a global fund and partnership to improve education in lower-income countries, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency.

The growth of protracted conflicts and the increasing prevalence of emergencies globally have impacted the educational opportunities of millions of children. Precarious humanitarian situations around the world have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. With just ten years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), amid a global pandemic, prioritizing the educational needs of the world’s most vulnerable children is more important than ever.

However, are donors dedicating sufficient attention to education in emergencies? Join the webinar for a discussion on financing needs, donor priorities, and policy trends in the sector.

This webinar complements our recently published report, ‘Decades of neglect: Donor financing for education in emergencies’.

Registration - Zoom

Report - Donor Tracker

Members of Dutch parliament propose motion to bring foreign policy instruments in line with Paris climate agreement

On November 12, 2020, Dutch members of parliament (MPs) Bram van Ojik (Green Party) and Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (D66) submitted a motion calling on the government to bring all instruments of foreign policy and diplomacy fully in line with the Paris Agreement's objectives to address the climate crisis, as well as calling on the government to inform the parliament about these efforts and the results.

The submission of the motion followed the debates on the 2021 foreign affairs budget. The motion will be brought to a vote on November 17, 2020.

Press release – Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

European ministers, parliamentarians call on European Commission to include gender equality in EU trade policy review

European ministers, including Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Sigrid Kaag, as well as members of the European Parliament (MEPs), sent a joint letter to the European Commission (EC) calling upon the EC to include gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in its trade policy review of the EU.

In the letter, the ministers and MEPs urge the EU to take immediate steps to fill the information gap about the interconnections between trade and gender. The letter also included eight measures to make the EU trade policy more gender-sensitive, ranging from reinforcing gender in all EU bilateral trade agreements, to encouraging international development programs that are targeted at gender-specific barriers.

Press release – Parliament of the Netherlands

Dutch Minister of Development Cooperation addresses Dutch role in mental healthcare assistance to low-income countries

On November 9, 2020, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, responded to parliamentary questions regarding mental healthcare in low-income countries.

Kaag stated the Netherlands is committed to promoting the integration of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) into broader development policy. In particular, she noted that the Netherlands has worked towards increased MHPSS in its efforts with Education Cannot Wait (ECW), a global fund to provide education during emergencies.

Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Dutch parliamentarians assess efforts to protect vulnerable children during COVID-19 crisis

On November 4, 2020, Anne Kuik, a Dutch member of parliament (MP) of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), and Jöel Voordewind, a Dutch MP of the Christian Union (CU), submitted parliamentary questions about vulnerable children in poor countries who have been overlooked due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Kuik and Voordewind asked the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, what efforts the Netherlands is making to prevent child trafficking, as well as to protect and help children who are unable to go to school because of the pandemic.

The MPs also asked the minister to provide answers to these questions before next week’s debates on the 2021 foreign trade and development cooperation budget.

Press release – Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs publishes 2020-2022 work program

The Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV), an independent body that advises the Dutch government and parliament on foreign policy, published their work program for 2020-2022. The three themes that they will focus on in the context of development cooperation are:

  1. Social protection in Africa;
  2. Reception of refugees in the region, with an emphasis on Africa; and
  3. Circular economy in development policy.

The social protection theme focuses on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on poverty in the continent of Africa. The AIV will advise the Dutch government on how its development cooperation policy can effectively contribute to the creation and maintenance of a sustainable system of social protection.

These approaches of providing social assistance to vulnerable groups have previously been applied and seen good results in countries such as Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. The work program does not specify which countries the Netherlands will apply these approaches to in 2020-2022.

Press release – Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Netherlands organizes virtual conference to hear young people's voices from Middle East and Africa on current challenges

On November 2, 2020, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) organized a virtual conference, called Youth at Heart, aimed at involving youth in development cooperation and addressing the challenges related to the large number of young people in the Middle East and Africa compared to the number of available job opportunities.

The themes of this conference included the global COVID-19 crisis, education, work, youth-led change, and mental health, as well as the experiences of refugees and women.

Hundreds of participants talked with young people from regions including the Sahel region, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East to hear their ideas on improving their future prospects.

Recordings of the conference can be found on the MFA's YouTube channel.

News article - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Virtual conference videos - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Dutch government addresses parliamentary questions on foreign policy expenditures, climate financing, ODA cuts

Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister, Stef Blok, answered 85 questions about the 2021 ‘Homogeneous Group for International Cooperation’ (HGIS) note, a document in which the foreign policy expenditures of all ministers are specified.

Questions answered by Blok ranged from details on climate financing, definitions of gender-sensitive COVID-19 responses, and which cuts to official development assistance (ODA) are currently being prepared.

Press release – Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Dutch parliament debates 2021 development budget; COVID-19 divides and delays debate

On October 26, 2020, the Dutch parliament debated the 2021 budget for foreign trade and development cooperation with Dutch Development Minister Sigrid Kaag. Disagreements notably arose regarding potential increases to the development cooperation budget.

Anne Kuik, a member of parliament (MP) for the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), highlighted the importance of health systems in low-income countries in the fight against diseases such as tuberculosis. MPs of the Reformed Political Party (SGP), Socialist Party (SP), Green Party (GroenLinks), and Labour Party (PvdA) expressed their concerns about the budget for development cooperation in the coming years. For this reason, SP, GroenLinks, and the PvdA proposed to increase the budget by €500 million (US$573 million).

Conversely, the largest opposition party, the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV), argued that the economic situation in the Netherlands due to the COVID-19 crisis should be a reason to decrease the development budget.

The amendment for an increase in the budget will be discussed in the second part of the budget debates, which was postponed due to Kaag's quarantine after being in close contact with a COVID-19 case. 

Press release – Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

New development bank, Invest International, cannot include SDGs as institutional goals, says Dutch development minister

Dutch Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister, Sigrid Kaag, answered the questions raised by the parliamentary Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation committee on the authorization to establish the Dutch financing and development institution, Invest International.

Kaag explained that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be included as goals of Invest International due to their end date of 2030 and because Invest International's budget will be a mix of official development assistance (ODA) funds and non-ODA funds.

Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Dutch parliament and Global Partnership for Education discuss investments in education

On October 26, 2020, Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), held a talk with Dutch members of parliament (MPs) of the Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation committee on the importance of further investments in global education.

MPs asked questions on the work of GPE regarding digital learning, psychosocial support, and support for marginalized groups such as children who are LGBTQ+.

Press release – Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Netherlands publishes 2020 scorecards for nine multilateral organizations

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) published new scorecards for nine international multilateral organizations supported by the government of the Netherlands:

  1. Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance;
  2. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO);
  3. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO);
  4. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  5. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD);
  6. Asian Development Bank (ADB);
  7. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD);
  8. United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); and
  9. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The MFA assessed these partner multilateral organizations through existing reports and other information sources. The scorecards are used to examine whether the organizations in question are functioning properly and whether the work they do is of importance to the Dutch government.

Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

COVID-19 crisis will not alter policy framework protecting SRHR, women's rights, says Dutch development minister

Dutch development minister, Sigrid Kaag, updated Parliament on the state of affairs of the four grant proposals under the policy framework Strengthening Civil Society, namely: Power of Voices, Power of Women, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Partnership Fund, and Peace and Security.

Kaag stated that despite the shrinking Dutch gross national income (GNI), the budget for the policy framework remains the same as the previously published budget. She also ensured that, while the COVID-19 crisis has a major influence on the development of the policy framework, the original planning and thematic elements of the framework will be maintained.

Press release – Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Dutch minister addresses parliamentary questions on 2021 development cooperation budget

Dutch Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister, Sigrid Kaag, answered 257 factual questions about the 2021 development cooperation budget raised by the parliamentary committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation committee.  

Kaag's answers, in a letter published on October 20, 2020, aimed to clarify the budget, decisions, and goals of the government in the field of development cooperation for next year.

Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Former Dutch Ambassador to Mozambique named as new Ambassador for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

Since October 2020, Pascalle Grotenhuis has assumed the role of Director-General of the Development Cooperation Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and Dutch Ambassador for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. She succeeds the previous ambassador, Mette Gonggrijp, who is currently on sabbatical.

Prior to this role, Grotenhuis was the Dutch ambassador to Mozambique from 2015 to 2020.

Press release – Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Dutch government publishes new international corporate social responsibility policy

Dutch development minister, Sigrid Kaag, sent Parliament a note on the results of the current policy in the field of international corporate social responsibility (ICSR), as well as an outline of the new policy.

The new policy includes a broad due diligence obligation. This measure replaces the transparency obligation in the current policy which has had a limited effect on ICSR.

Press release – Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Press release – Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Dutch parliamentarians call for additional US$573 million ODA package to compensate for COVID-19 response costs

On October 15, 2020, Tom van den Nieuwenhuijzen, a Dutch member of parliament (MP) of the Green Party (GroenLinks), put forward an amendment to increase the development cooperation budget by US$573 million for the years 2021 to 2025.

The amendment would add US$126 million to the budget in 2021 in order to counteract the proposed cuts to the development budget and to prevent the international approach to COVID-19 by the Netherlands from coming at the expense of other current development cooperation priorities.

The amendment was co-submitted by fellow MPs Kirsten van den Hul (Labour Party) and Mahir Alkaya (Socialist Party). The amendment has not yet been brought to a vote.

Press release – Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Dutch Health Minister answers parliamentary questions about "secret" COVID-19 vaccine deals, legal protection

Dutch Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge answered parliamentary questions regarding the liability of vaccine developers and secrecy surrounding recent COVID-19 vaccine deals.

De Jonge defended the stance that, while the Dutch government and the European Commission strive to be as transparent as possible, vaccine deals should ultimately remain secret in order not to influence other vaccine negotiations, and to protect companies' sensitive pricing information.

Under the current agreements, European member states are financially responsible for claims arising from side effects not known at the time of authorization of the vaccine.

Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

European Commission signs contract for 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Janssen Pharmaceuticals for EU; Netherlands plans to purchase 7 million doses

In a letter to the Dutch parliament, Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge confirmed the European Commission's completion of a contract with Janssen Pharmaceuticals which guarantees the delivery of 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union (EU) member states. The Netherlands plans to purchase at least 7 million doses of the vaccine from Janssen Pharmaceuticals when it is available.

The contract sets out legal conditions regarding EU member states reselling doses of the vaccine to other countries in the EU or donating doses to vulnerable countries.

Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

News article - NOS (in Dutch)

Dutch parliament poses questions on ODA expenditure by different ministries

On October 8, 2020, the Dutch foreign affairs parliamentary committee submitted a list of questions about the 2021 ‘Homogeneous Group for International Cooperation’ (HGIS) note, a document in which the total official development assistance (ODA) of all ministries is specified.

Questions posed by the committee ranged from inquiries about the influence of COVID-19 on development cooperation projects, which cuts to ODA are currently being prepared, and which projects are counted as public climate financing versus as ODA.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stef Blok has been requested to answer the parliament’s questions by October 23, 2020.

Press release - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)