The government of the Netherlands implements a policy which combines development cooperation with trade and investments. This policy has been renewed, adapted and was launched in 2018 by Sigrid Kaag, the new Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, who took office after the elections in 2017. In the new policy “Investing in Global Prospects” sexual and reproductive health and rights continue to be a policy priority. Gender (SDG5) is considered as a cross-cutting goal.
Policies & funding
Dutch Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)
In the past few years Dutch Official Development Assistance (ODA) decreased by €750 million per year in the period 2014-2016, and €1 billion in 2017. While the budget for SRH/FP has been safeguarded during these years, general support to civil society was most affected.
The new government has reversed the decreasing ODA trend and has set the goal to restore the internationally agreed 0.7% ODA percentage by 2030. The ODA budget will increase again with a total of €1.75 billion for the 2018-2021 period. However, this will not reverse the structural ODA budget cuts that have been applied by the previous government. As a result, ODA as percentage of the GNP in 2017 was 0.60%, for 2018 is 0.59% and for 2019 will be 0.57%.
Funding for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Total expenditure by the Dutch government for SRHR and HIV/AIDS amounted to EUR 424 million in 2016, EUR 432 million in 2017 and EUR 418 million in 2018. The budget for 2019, which is still to be discussed in parliament, is set at EUR 430 million.
As part of this total expenditure the amount dedicated to SRH/FP in 2017 remained stable at €123.5 million. SRH/FP core funding to UNFPA totaled €35 million.
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 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 €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, of which five have a relevance to SRH/FP.
The Netherlands has been one of the strong supporters of the SheDecides movement. So far, the Dutch government has pledged €29 million for SheDecides, of which €11,4 million was allocated in 2017 and EUR 17,6 million in 2018. Beneficiaries of the SheDecides funding of the Netherlands included UNFPA, Marie Stopes International and the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia.
The Netherlands is a strong supporter of SRHR, as shown in their statements at the annual CPDs and the High Level Political Forum (for instance this cross-regional statement in 2017, during the review session of SDG 3). In its Voluntary National Review (VNR) report on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, submitted to the HLPF in 2017, the Netherlands re-emphasized its diplomatic and financial support for SRHR through its foreign policy and development cooperation. The Netherlands has also addressed the SheDecides fundraising initiative at multiple occasions in international fora.
Most recently, the new Minister for International Trade and Development Cooperation spoke out very strongly in support of SRHR of women, men and young people in developing countries, including provision of contraceptives, sexuality education and care for pregnant women, at the opening of AIDS2018 in Amsterdam.
- Policy document 'Investing in global prospects' of Minister Sigrid Kaag (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation)
Updated January 2019
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