The Dutch government implements a policy which combines aid with trade and investments, based on the policy document ‘A world to gain. A new agenda for aid, trade and investment’ issued in April 2013 by the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. One of the four policy priorities comprise women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Policies & funding
Dutch Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)
The new government decided in 2013 to decrease Dutch Official Development Assistance (ODA) by Euro 750 million per year in the period 2014-2016, and 1 billion in 2017. Subsequently there have been additional budget cuts due to the decrease in GNP, as consequence of the financial crisis. Since 2015, one of the areas that is most affected by this budget cut is the support to civil society. Also, the way support is given to civil society organizations changed: the current co-financing system has ceased to exist from 2016 onwards and has been replaced by strategic partnerships with civil society groups.
The ODA budget has further been eroded as the first year’s admission of asylum seekers is being funded from the budget for foreign trade and development cooperation. We now see a recurrent trend of increasing expenditures on defense and security, at the cost of the budget for development cooperation. So far, the budget for SRHR has been safeguarded despite the general ODA budget cuts.
ODA as percentage of the GNP in 2015 was 0.69%, for 2016 is 0.56% and for 2017 will be 0.57%. SRHR as a percentage of ODA in 2015 was 5.0%.
The erosion of ODA and the shortage of budget for ODA in general will remain a major problem in the years to come and necessitates close monitoring, especially in the current period heading up to the general elections in the Netherlands of March 2017.
Funding for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
Total expenditure by the Dutch government for SRHR and HIV/AIDS amounted to EUR 372,606,000 in 2015 and EUR 421,784,000 in 2016. The original budget for 2016 was EUR 416,784,000 which increased with EUR 5 million as a result of amendments in Parliament. The budget for 2017, which is still to be discussed in parliament, is set at EUR 416,784,000.
The Netherlands, within the framework of Family Planning 2020, committed to enable access to contraceptives for 6 million women and girls.
In 2016, the Dutch government has started with the implementation of Strategic Partnership Agreements, coordinated by 7 alliances of NGOs, and 5 INGOs for the period of 2016-2020, for a total amount of EUR 215 million. These SRHR alliances focus on youth and rights. Apart from that, agreements had been established with 25 partnerships, in advocacy and capacity building for advocacy. Five of these partnerships have a relevance to SRHR, which concerns a total amount of EUR 168,600,000 over 5 years.
In the lead up to general elections taking place in March 2017, perspectives on ODA levels and related SRHR budgets are unsure. Due to the political climate that is less favorable towards development cooperation / ODA, and is more focused on peace and security. Although depending on election results and government formation, there is a considerable chance that SRHR as priority area of Dutch development cooperation will be maintained.
The Netherlands is a strong supporter for SRHR, as shown in their statements at the CPD as well as successful promotion of the inclusion of both a specific goal on gender equality and specific targets on SRHR, in Agenda 2030.
- A world to gain. A new agenda for aid, trade and investment. (2013)
- Annual report Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation 2014 (Dutch)
- HGIS (Homogene Groep Internationale Ontwikkelingssamenwerking) annual report 2014 (Dutch)
Revised Budget for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for 2015 (voorjaarsnota) (Dutch)
- Budget for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for 2016 (as presented in September 2015) (Dutch)
- Annual report Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation 2015 (Dutch)
- Revised Budget for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for 2016 (voorjaarsnota) (Dutch)
- Budget for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for 2016 (as presented in September 2016) (Dutch)
Updated October 2016
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