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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NGO launches Dutch health ODA tracker

September 7, 2023 | Netherlands, Global Health | Share this update

On September 7, 2023, Cordaid, a global health NGO, published a new interactive tool to track Dutch global health financing and policymaking based on data published to the IATI.

The new tool allows users to track and compare Dutch global health funding between 2018 and 2023. The tool visualizes Dutch global health ODA/GNI in comparison to other DAC and OECD countries, multilateral partnership priorities, and top partner countries, among other features.

The tool also analyzes funding distribution across six priority thematic areas: health systems strengthening, SRHR and MNCH, emergency health, communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, and cross-cutting issues.

Web Page - Cordaid Twitter - Cordaid

Netherlands suspends development cooperation with Niger

August 4, 2023 | Netherlands, Global Health | Share this update

On August 4, 2023, following the military coup d’état in Niger the week of July 24, 2023, the Dutch government suspended development cooperation with Niger.

Outgoing Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher and outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra, who announced the suspension, voiced a desire to avoid funding the perpetrators of the coup.

The Netherlands discontinued its support for programs run through the central government of Niger, including a health project totaling EUR6 million (US$7 million), a program to strengthening the Nigerien prison system totaling EUR4 million (US$4 million), and a EUCAP Sahel Niger program to train mobile border guards totaling EUR5 million (US$6 million).

The Dutch government also paused the elaboration of the new migration partnership with Niger, originally established in February 2023. The government indicated that it was reviewing which programs run through the UN, other international organizations, and local partners would continue to receive funding.

News article - Dutch government (in Dutch)News article - Dutch government (in Dutch)

Netherlands delivers second 2023 support package for Ukraine

July 4, 2023 | Netherlands, Gender Equality, Global Health | Share this update

On July 4, 2023, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher reported the second support package for Ukraine in 2023. The Dutch government will provide another EUR119 million (US$127 million) for humanitarian assistance, recovery and reconstruction.

This support package was allocated from the government’s decision in December 2022 to earmark EUR2.5 billion (US$2.7 billion) to support Ukraine in 2023. In April 2023, the first support package of EUR274 million (US$294 million) was announced, which in part went towards non-lethal support to Ukraine’s armed forces.

This second support package of EUR119 million (US$127 million) focused on humanitarian assistance, recovery and reconstruction. Minister Schreinemacher outlined the following initiatives:

  • EUR52 million (US$56 million) will go to the European Investment Bank’s EU4U initiative for the recovery of digital and physical infrastructure and housing;
  • EUR25 million (US$27 million) for healthcare and SRHR through contributions towards the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children, and Adolescents, UNAIDS, UNFPA, and the WHO;
  • EUR25 million (US$27 million) to support a partnership facility for businesses, knowledge institutions, and/or CSOs to contribute to the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine;
  • EUR10 million for in-kind support, including emergency aid, for instance, lifeboats and flat boats needed as a result of the destruction of the Kakhovka dam;
  • EUR6 million (US$6 million) for the recovery of water supply facilities via Dutch public drinking water companies; and
  • US$900,000 via the Dutch Human Rights Fund to local NGO projects to support Ukrainian human rights defenders.

EUR94 million (US$101 million) of the funding was allocated from the government’s general resources budget, and EUR25 million (US$27 million) was allocated from the Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation budget.

Schreinemacher also announced that top diplomat Roderick van Schreven had been appointed as the new Special Envoy to facilitate the Dutch business community’s involvement in the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Letter - Letter to House of Representatives (in Dutch)News article - Dutch Government News ArticleWeb Page - Dutch Government (in Dutch)

Netherlands co-hosts GFF US$800 milllion women’s health campaign

June 29, 2023 | Netherlands, Germany, Gender Equality, Global Health | Share this update

On June 29, 2023, the GFF announced that the Netherlands, Germany, Ivory Coast, and World Bank are co-hosting the ‘Deliver the Future’ campaign to raise US$800 million by the end of 2023 to invest in the health and rights of women, children, and adolescents in LICs.

According to the GFF more than 60 countries, including 35 out of 36 partner countries, are off track to meet the SDG health targets for maternal, newborn, and stillborn mortality by 2030, which could cost almost 8 million lives.

Donors have donated US$2 billion since 2015, which has allowed the GFF to unlock US$32 billion for women, children, and adolescent health. For example the GFF have provided more than 500 million women with access to modern family planning, and ensured 103 million women delivered their babies safely.

The additional investment of US$800 million was projected to help the organization reach another 250 million women, children, and adolescents.

Twitter - Global Financing Facility TweetWeb Page - Deliver the Future Campaign

Netherlands releases new Africa Strategy

May 30, 2023 | Netherlands, Climate, Global Health, Nutrition, Gender Equality, Education | Share this update

On May 30, 2023, the Netherlands published its first continent-wide, ten-year Africa Strategy (2023-2032).

The strategy outlined short-, mid-, and longterm actions to promote the 54 countries’ equal economic development, reduced poverty, improved human rights, and limited irregular migration.

The strategy displayed the Netherlands’ ambition to strengthen and deepen its strategic relationship and partnership with African countries, both bilaterally and multilaterally through the EU. The strategy prioritized equitable and reciprocal cooperation based on mutual interests. Key themes included:

  • Promoting regional stability, mobility, and migration agreements;
  • Achieving the SDGs and AU 2063 Agenda; and
  • Increasing the prosperity and climate resilience of people and communities in Africa and Europe.

The Strategy positioned the EU as Africa’s most important trade partner and investor, and a major provider of development and humanitarian assistance. Accordingly, the strategy framed other countries’ expanding influence in Africa, such as China, Russia, and the Gulf States, as a key geopolitical and economic challenge. The strategy likewise attempted to position the Netherlands and EU as attractive partners for African countries to facilitate collaboration on key cross-border issues including migration, trade, energy transition, security, and food security.

Specifically, the Netherlands focused on good trade agreements and energy transition, presenting a model of cooperation in which African countries process raw materials before exporting them to the EU. The strategy touted the plan as a way to create jobs in Africa and to make the value chains of raw materials more sustainable.

The strategy also emphasized the importance of peace and security for African countries and their citizens as a means of preventing (cross-border) violent extremism. The Netherlands shared its aim to design effective, sustainable migration cooperation with African partners within the international and European legal frameworks. Additionally, the Netherlands shared goals to leverage this cooperation to increased food security, improved health and climate resilience, and invest in higher and vocational education.

While CSOs responded favorably to the strategy, they also expressed apprehension regarding its increased reliance on Dutch businesses. Similarly, several organizations questioned the Netherlands’ ability to realize its ambitions after the recently announced cuts of EUR3.4 billion (US$3.6 billion) to the Dutch development budget of over the following four years.

Government document - Dutch Africa Strategy 2023-2032 (in Dutch)News article - Dutch governmentLetter - Dutch government (in Dutch)

Netherlands signs SheDecides Comprehensive Sexuality Education statement

April 28, 2023 | Netherlands, Education, Gender Equality, Global Health | Share this update

On April 28, 2023, SheDecides, a global political movement that fights for bodily autonomy and SRHR for all, published a statement in Al Jazeera on the importance of CSE in building a gender equal world.

The signatories included ten ministers and 36 health and gender equality experts, four of whom were Dutch.

The statement highlighted that despite growing evidence that CSE helps reduce gender-based violence, unintended pregnancies, and HIV transmissions, not all governments are investing in CSE programs. Moreover, due to misinformation about CSE, decision-makers around the world have rolled back their support for related programs allowing harmful practices and beliefs, including gender-based discrimination, to flourish.

To achieve the SDGs for Health (SDG 3), Education (SDG 4), and Gender Equality (SDG 5), the statements called on all governments to commit to incorporating CSE in national curricula and invest in quality teacher training, and to engage more young people, parents, teachers, community leaders, and politicians to better understand the long-term benefits of CSE.

The statement was authored by the Prime Minister of Belgium, South Africa’s Minister of Social Development and the Executive Director of FEMNET and Chair of SheDecides Guiding Group. Among the 50 signatories were the Netherlands’ Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Dennis Wiersma, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher, former Minister, MP and Initiator of SheDecides Lilianne Ploumen, and Minister for Education, Culture, and Science Robbert Dijkgraaf.

Al JazeeraTwitter - Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Netherlands provides additional US$213 million for humanitarian assistance, cultural preservation in Ukraine

April 3, 2023 | Netherlands, Agriculture, Education, Global Health, Climate | Share this update

On April 3, 2023, Ministers Liesje Schreinemacher and Wopke Hoekstra reported the first support package for Ukraine in 2023.

Through a new supplementary budget, the Dutch government will provide an additional EUR180 million (US$193 million) for humanitarian assistance, recovery and reconstruction. An additional EUR19 million (US$20 million) was allocated from a second supplemental budget for reconstruction and cultural preservation.

The additional funding came from the government’s reserve of EUR2.5 billion (U$2.7 billion) for Ukraine in 2023. The ministers wrote that they are providing this first support package for 2023 in light of the World Bank’s needs assessment for the long-term reconstruction costs of Ukraine changing from US$349 billion in September 2022 to US$411 billion on March 29, 2023.

Of the extra €180 million (US$193 million) for humanitarian assistance, EUR140 million (US$150 million) will be channeled through multilaterals. The World Bank’s Ukraine Relief Trust Fund will receive EUR60 million (US$64 million), and the EBRD will receive EUR40 million (US$43 million) to reconstruct key infrastructure, including for health care, transport and housing, energy supply, agriculture, and education. The World Bank’s private-sector arm, the IFC, will receive EUR40 million (US$43 million) to support Ukrainian farmers and agri-producers with seeds and materials.

Schreinemacher also earmarked EUR30 million (US$32 million) of the EUR180 million package for humanitarian assistance and reconstruction. EUR20 million (US$21 million) will got to UNOCHA, and EUR10 million (US$11 million) will support various partners to provide mental health care and psychosocial support.

Schreinemacher also announced EUR10 million (US$11 million) in ODA to demining agricultural land, through Minister Hoekstra’s Foreign Affairs budget. In addition to extra funds, Schreinemacher appointed a special envoy to promote the involvement of the Dutch business community in the reconstruction of Ukraine.

In a second supplementary budget totaling EUR94 million (US$101 million), Hoekstra allocated EUR14 million (US$15 million) to the fight against impunity for international crimes, including the Dialogue Group on Accountability, to establish a war damage register in The Hague. Another EUR5 million (US$5 million) was allocated toward protecting and preserving identity-defining culture in Ukraine.

The ministers closed their letter with a commitment to inform the House of Representatives of the next support package before the summer recess.

News article - Dutch government (in Dutch)Letter - Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Dutch)Letter - First supplementary budget 2023 - Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation (in Dutch)Letter - Second supplementary budget 2023 - Minister for Foreign Affairs (in Dutch)

Germany, Netherlands pledge US$45 million for climate-resilient water systems

March 24, 2023 | Germany, Netherlands, Global Health, Climate | Share this update

During the UN Water Conference in New York from March 22-24, 2023, Germany and the Netherlands launched the Urban Water Calatlyst Initiative to mobilize private and public investment in climate-resilient water systems.

The initiative will assist urban water and wastewater operators in improving infrastructure and access to safe drinking water and sanitation in growing cities in LMICs. Germany provided start-up funding of EUR32 million (US$34 million); the Netherlands pledged EUR10 million (US$11 million).

Press release - Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Dutch Ambassador urges integrated approach WASH, CSE, gender equality

March 22, 2023 | Netherlands, Education, Global Health, Gender Equality | Share this update

In a March 22, 2023, op-ed, Dutch Ambassador for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and Director Social Development at the BZ Pascalle Grotenhuis called for integrated approaches and increased funding for menstrual health and gender equality in development cooperation.

The op-ed was published on the first day of the 2023 UN Water Conference. Grotenhuis explained how the absence of WASH facilities, a lack of menstrual products or resources to afford these, and little to no education on menstruation have severe consequences and lead to exclusion and harmful stigma for women.
For instance, Grotenhuis cited research by UNICEF suggesting that 539 million children worldwide lack basic sanitation services at their school, which results in many adolescent girls staying home from school or quitting their education due to their menstruation.

As such, Grotenhuis underlined the importance of investing in menstrual health as a development priority for gender equality. In her role as Ambassador for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, she also advocated for menstrual health to be a central component of CSE, including for boys and young men.

Grotenhuis underscored the need for the UN 2023 Water Conference and the new Water Action Agenda to increase investments and commitments toward integrated approaches to improve menstrual health through CSE and WASH infrastructure. Since the conference closed on March 24, 2023, 19 countries made commitments that include a focus on menstrual health.

Pandemic PeriodsWeb Page - Water Action Agenda

Netherlands announces US$93 million for global health programs

December 20, 2022 | Netherlands, Gender Equality, Global Health | Share this update

On December 20, 2022, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it will contribute US$93 million (€86 million) to five NGOs between 2023-2027 to address global health challenges.

In particular, the funding was pledged to:

  • The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) to develop affordable vaccines and preventative medications against HIV/AIDS, with particular focus on girls, young women, and other high-risk populations;
  • The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) to develop and increase access to treatments for the most harmful resistant bacterial infections;
  • The European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) - for developing different vaccines to prevent and treat placental malaria in pregnant women;
  • FINDdx, the global alliance for diagnostics to drive equitable access to reliable diagnosis around the world through working to decentralize health care; and
  • The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) to develop treatments for six tropical diseases that mainly affect women of reproductive age: sleeping sickness, dengue, leishmaniasis, Chagas, progressed HIV, and mycetoma.
Twitter - Dutch MFA






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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