Policy Updates

Each week, Donor Tracker's team of country-based experts bring you the most important policy and funding news across issue areas in the form of Policy Updates.

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Netherlands announces cabinet changes

January 10, 2024 | Netherlands, Global Health, Climate, Education | Share this update

On January 10, 2024, outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced changes in the Dutch cabinet.

Rutte announced that Minister for Health, Sports, and Welfare Ernst Kuipers handed in his resignation to the King of the Netherlands. Minister for Long-term Care and Sports Conny Helder will temporarily take over this role until a successor is found.

Additionally, Secretary General for Education, Culture and Science Steven van Weyenberg has been appointed the new Minister of Finance. His former role will be filled by Fleur Gräper-van Koolwijk.

Finally, Rutte announced that Minister for Climate and Energy Rob Jetten will take on the additional role of Vice Prime Minister, previously held by Sigrid Kaag.

Twitter - Dutch Prime Minister (in Dutch)

Netherlands pledges additional US$27 million for Palestinians

January 8, 2024 | Netherlands, Global Health, Nutrition, WASH & Sanitation | Share this update

On January 8, 2024, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Geoffrey van Leeuwen announced a new pledge of EUR25 million (US$27 million) for humanitarian relief to Palestinian citizens affected by the Gaza crisis.

The funds will be used for urgent humanitarian needs, such as food, water, medical care, and fuel for electricity and heating. EUR15 million (US$16 million) is assigned to the Dutch Red Cross for relief by the Red Cross/Red Crescent Society in Gaza. The remaining EUR10 million (US$11 million) will go towards the UNRWA for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

This pledge is in addition to the EUR25 million (US$27 million) pledged on December 20, 2024, bringing total Dutch assistance to Palestine to EUR50 million (US$54 million). The funds will come from the Netherlands' 2024 development budget.

Letter - Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation (in Dutch)

Netherlands launches US$111 million 2024 support package to Ukraine

December 21, 2023 | Netherlands, Agriculture, Global Health | Share this update

On December 21, 2023, the Netherlands launched its first support package of 2024 to Ukraine, totaling EUR102 million (US$111 million) and aimed at providing urgent needs to help Ukraine get through winter and prepare for spring.

On December 15, 2023, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Geoffrey van Leeuwen announced intentions for the package during a visit to Ukraine. The package's allocations were:

  • EUR62 million (US$67 million) to support the Ukrainian Government in delivering basic services, restoring critical infrastructure, and ensuring reforms through the Special Program for Ukraine and Moldova Recovery, part of the IDA of the World Bank;
  • EUR15 million (US$16 million) for humanitarian assistance via UNOCHA’s Ukraine Humanitarian Fund;
  • EUR15 million (US$16 million) for the demining of agricultural lands and liberated areas; and
  • EUR10 million (US$11 million) in supplies for the Ukrainian electricity network.

The package is part of more than EUR2 billion (US$2.2 billion) that the Netherlands has reserved for support to Ukraine in 2024. Of this, EUR2 billion (US$2.2 billion) will go towards military support, EUR295 million (US$212 million) towards the European Peace Facility, EUR89 million (US$97 million) to combat impunity, and EUR3 million (US$3.3 million) for non-military cyber support.

Press release - Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Dutch)

Netherlands pledges US$27 million for Palestine

December 20, 2023 | Netherlands, Global Health | Share this update

On December 20, 2023, Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation Geoffrey van Leeuwen announced that the government will contribute EUR25 million (US$27 million) for emergency assistance to Palestinian citizens in Gaza.

EUR15 million (US$16 million) will go to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society, and EUR10 million (US$11 million) will go to UNRWA for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The new pledge brings the total development and humanitarian support from the Netherlands to Palestine in 2023 to EUR101 million (US$110 million).

On November 1, 2023, Egypt requested assistance from the EU for more than 400 types of medical devices. The Netherlands has since then made available 40 monitors, 5 ultrasound machines and 250 oxygen concentrators from RescEU stock at the request of the European Commission. On December 12, 2023, Dutch Minister for Health, Sports, and Welfare Ernst Kuipers reserved EUR1.5 million (US$1.6 million) for medical devices in Egypt to take care of Palestinian patients. With the extra EUR1.5 million (US$1.6 million), Kuipers stated a goal to purchase medical devices from suppliers in the geographic region of Egypt for easier transport and provision of documents in the local language.

On December 22, 2023, Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs Hanke Bruins Slot welcomed the UN Security Council’s adoption of a resolution that calls for urgent steps to scale up humanitarian assistance to Gaza. This followed the Netherlands' abstention from a resolution proposed on December 12, 2023, to an indefinite ceasefire in Gaza, as it argued that Israel must be able to continue to defend itself against the threat of Hamas. The Netherlands committed to advocating for multiple humanitarian pauses in the fighting and called on both parties to make all possible efforts to protect civilians.

News article - Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Dutch)Letter - Letter to the House of Representatives (in Dutch)Twitter - Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs (in German)Twitter - Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs

Netherlands becomes co-chair of Global Concessional Financing Facility, contributes US$11 million to Armenia

December 13, 2023 | Netherlands, Global Health, Education | Share this update

On December 13, 2023, the Netherlands announced that it has become co-chair of the Global Concessional Financing Facility and pledged EUR10 million (US$11 million) to support Armenia with asylum services.

The Global Concessional Financing Facility is implemented by the World Bank. It supports middle-income countries hosting many refugees that are not eligible for soft loans from development banks at a lower interest rate and with a longer repayment period.

Following a military escalation in September 2023 in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia has hosted more than 100,000 refugees from the region. These refugees make up approximately 3% of the Armenian population and have strained social services, the labor market, and the national economy. The contribution by the Netherlands is meant to strengthen Armenian healthcare, education, and provide people with safe shelter.

News article - Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Dutch)

Netherlands provides US$15 million for global outbreak readiness

November 6, 2023 | Netherlands, Global Health | Share this update

On November 6, 2023, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Sports, and Welfare announced an additional EUR14 million (US$15 million) contribution to CEPI to advance global vaccine research, development, and manufacturing to better prepare for future epidemics and pandemics.

The announcement was made at the second World Local Production Forum by the WHO, co-hosted by the Netherlands and Indonesia in The Hague. The pledge was originally made in October 2022 at the G20 Summit in Indonesia.

The funds are in adddition to the Netherlands’ initial EUR50 million (US$54 million) contribution in 2020 to advance CEPI’s COVID-19 vaccine portfolio. The contribution is expected to enable Dutch and international researchers to facilitate a 100-day pandemic response to a future pandemic.

Press release - CEPI

Netherlands pledges US$76 million for humanitarian assistance, asylum reception, climate

November 2, 2023 | Netherlands, Education, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On November 2, 2023, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher sent a letter to the House of Representatives announcing the allocation of the recently approved extra EUR70 million (US$76 million) for the 2023 development budget.

EUR30 million (US$33 million) will go towards humanitarian assistance by the WFP, the Dutch Red Cross, and the Dutch Relief Alliance, including the recently announced EUR15 million (US$16 million) towards water, food, and healthcare in Gaza. The other half of the humanitarian funds will go towards other undetermined humanitarian needs around the world.

EUR20 million (US$$22 million) is allocated to the reception of asylum seekers in Pakistan, and “the Horn of Africa and the MENA region,” especially the education of children. EUR12 million (US$13 million) will go towards the UNHCR and EUR8 million (US$9 million) will go towards UNICEF.

Finally, EUR20 million (US$22 million) will go towards climate adaptation, with EUR10 million (US$11 million) towards the FMO’s Access to Energy Fund and the remaining funds going towards the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program.

The extra EUR70 million (US$76 million) for ODA was a result of the Dutch House of Representatives approval on October 26, 2023, to bring forward part of the 2028 development budget buffer to reduce the previously proposed development budget cuts for 2023, known as a ‘cash move’. The additional funds will be processed in the Second Supplementary Budget 2023, which will be sent no later than December 1, 2023.

Letter - Dutch government letter (in Dutch)

Netherlands pledges US$109 million for MNCH

October 16, 2023 | Netherlands, Global Health, Family Planning, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health | Share this update

On October 16, 2023, the Netherlands pledged EUR100 million (US$109 million) towards MNCH at the GFF's WHS pledging event.

Dutch Vice Minister for International Cooperation Pascalle Grotenhuis announced that the Netherlands will triple its annual contribution to the GFF to EUR90 million (US$98 million). The Netherlands pledged to provide a top-up of EUR10 million (US$11 million) to support the rebuilding of Ukraine’s health systems.

A press release by the GFF stated that governments and philanthropies committed a total of US$445 million in funding to strengthen primary healthcare and to improve the health and rights of women and children. This event was the first pledging opportunity of the ‘Deliver the Future’ campaign, launched in June 2023 and co-hosted by the Netherlands, Germany, Côte d’Ivoire, and the World Bank.

Press release - Global Financing FacilityTwitter - Global Financing FacilityTwitter - WACI Health

Netherlands launches Global Health Hub, signs Global Health Pact

September 28, 2023 | Netherlands, Global Health | Share this update

On September 28, 2023, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the Dutch Global Health Hub and signed a Global Health Pact with more than 20 partners.

The plans for the hub were first announced in the Dutch Global Health Strategy 2023-2030, originally published in October 2022. Aligned with the Dutch Global Health Strategy, the Global Health Hub is meant to work towards three objectives:

  • Strengthen the global health architecture and national health systems, for instance by improving access to basic health and SRHR;
  • Improve international pandemic preparedness, by improving access to medicines and health products, and strengthening action on AMR and zoonotic disease policy; and
  • Ensure global healthcare is both sustainable and climate-resilient.

The hub announced its aim to achieve these goals by promoting intersectoral cooperation and bringing together knowledge institutions, academia, NGOs, innovators, young people, and think tanks specializing in various aspects of global health as the foundation for the strategy.

News article - Dutch governmentGovernment document - Dutch Global Health Strategy 2023-2030 (English)

Netherlands reiterates UHC commitment

September 22, 2023 | Netherlands, Global Health | Share this update

On September 22, 2023, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher reaffirmed the Netherlands’ commitment to ensuring UHC at the high-level meeting on UHC at the 78th UN General Assembly.

Schreinemacher stated that UHC is key to ensuring accessible health services to all, including providing safe abortion and preventing of unwanted pregnancies, and that achieving UHC requires strong health systems and flexible financing. This commitment to strengthening primary healthcare systems aligns with the Netherlands’ Global Health Strategy 2023-2030, originally published in October 2022.

A key outcome of the event was the approval of a new Political Declaration on UHC. The WHO noted that the declaration acted as a catalyst for world leaders to take bold action to mobilize the necessary political commitments and financial investments to achieve SDG #3 by 2030. The declaration, once adopted by the General Assembly, will be regularly monitored and discussed at the next UN High-Level Meeting in 2027.

The WHO estimated that an additional US$200-328 billion in financing is needed to scale up primary health care in low-and middle-income countries to fulfill SDG #3. SDG #3 aims to deliver 90% of essential health services, save 60 million lives, and increase average life expectancy by 3.7 years by 2030.

Healthcare NGOs responded with a joint statement highlighting the contrasts between the 2023 declaration and a healthcare declaration from 2019. They commended the new text’s increased focus on person-centered care, coordination of healthcare processes, HIV/AIDS, and community emphasis. However, the NGOs expressed concern that the declaration failed to explicitly mention criminalized and marginalized communities, did not strengthen essential aspects of healthcare delivery and equity, and lacked funding commitments for multilateral organizations and community-led responses.

Twitter - Dutch UN representativeGovernment document - Dutch GovernmentNews article - WHOConference statement - United NationsJoint NGO Statement

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US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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