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 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 equality and the empowerment of women and girls (Sustainable Development Goal, SDG 5) is a cross-cutting goal. While new elections were planned for March 2021, the Dutch government resigned in January.
Policies & funding
Dutch Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)
Dutch Official Development Assistance (ODA) decreased in the period 2015-2017. The coalition government starting in October 2017 aimed to reverse the decreasing ODA trend and has set the goal to restore the internationally 0.7% ODA percentage by 2030. ODA went up in absolute terms afterwards and amounted to € 4.75 billion in 2019. However, net ODA in % of the GNI decreased to 0.59 in 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on the ODA budget and in 2020 the development budget was increased by almost € 300 million for the COVID response. Percentage wise, net ODA is estimated to increase to 0.61% of GNI in 2020, followed by a decrease to 0.55% in 2021 and 2022, 0.53% in 2023 and 0,52% in 2024. This implies that the gradual return to the 0.7% target is far away on the horizon.
Funding for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Total official expenditure by the Dutch government for SRHR and HIV/AIDS amounted to € 432 million in 2017, € 445 million in 2018, € 437 million in 2019 and budgeted at € 397 million for 2020. The budget for 2021, which is still to be discussed in parliament, is set at € 401.5 million.
The Netherlands, within the framework of Family Planning 2020, committed to enable access to contraceptives for 6 million women and girls for the period 2016-2020. The number of women and girls reached up to 2019 was 2.75 million.
In 2016, the Dutch government started implementing 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. For the period 2020-2025 the Minister launched a new subsidy framework, including the SRHR Partnership fund for a total of €315 million.
The Netherlands is a strong supporter of SRHR, as shown in their statements at the annual Commission on Population and Development, World Health Assembly and the High-Level Political Forum. In September 2020, the Netherlands co-led a progressive joint-statement with 82 countries during the UNGA High Level Meeting on Beijing+25. This statement addressed the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights as part of the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action. The Netherlands is also involved in SheDecides and supported the movement at multiple occasions in international fora.
- Policy document 'Investing in global prospects' of Minister Sigrid Kaag (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation)
- Joint Statement at WHA73 on COVID-19 and SRHR
- Joint Statement for UNGA HLM on Beijing+25
Updated January 2021
Beyond 2020 Roundtable: European donor support to SRHR and FP... January 12, 2021
Rights under pressure September 14, 2020
- European Institutions
- United Kingdom