On March 15, 2017, the Netherlands held general elections. Voter turnout (81.4%) for this year's election was significantly higher than for the 2012 elections, with results showing a victory for the current governing conservative-liberal party (VVD) with 33 seats. VVD was followed by the far-right party (PVV) with 20 seats. The social-liberal party (D66) and the center-right Christian party (CDA) were close behind with 19 seats each. The green-left party (GL) increased its number of seats from 4 to 14, compared to the 2012 elections. However, the labor party (PvdA), a coalition partner in the current government, suffered a historic loss of 29 seats (from 38 to 9).
All political parties called for an increased development budget in their election manifestos, except for VVD and PVV. However, the VVD has stated that it will not govern with the populist PVV. It will thus need to forge a coalition with at least three other parties to form a majority, which could have positive implications for development spending.
The Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, Lilliane Ploumen, has announced €2 million in emergency relief will go to four countries or regions currently facing severe hunger: Yemen, North-East Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan. With this contribution, the Netherlands responds to the United Nations' call to combat the current dire situation of food insecurity and malnutrition in these geographies. Since the end of 2016, the Dutch Cabinet has contributed approximately €33 million for this purpose.
The €2 million will be channeled through ten collaborating relief organizations (SHO), who have a lot of experience working in emergency contexts. These organizations have also coordinated on a national fundraising campaign to collect emergency relief funds. Initiated on March 6, 2017, the campaign has raised more than €5 million to date.