Dutch development cooperation policy

The Dutch government wants to promote sustainable economic growth in developing countries. And it wants to work towards global stability and security and to foster human rights. It can best do so by focusing on the fields in which the Netherlands itself excels, for example water management and food security.

Main themes of development cooperation policy

The 4 main themes of Dutch development cooperation policy are:

In each of these four themes, issues such as equality for women, the environment and climate play an important role.

International Public Goods (IPGs)

International Public Goods (IPGs) are international issues or goods that affect everyone, or goods that should be available to all. Clean air is an example. Everyone uses air and is affected by air pollution.

IPGs play a major role in Dutch development cooperation policy. The Netherlands wants to achieve results on the following IPGs: trade, security, migration, water, climate, food security, raw materials and energy. You will find more information on this subject in the policy document ‘A World to Gain: A New Agenda for Aid, Trade and Investment

Countries can only address the IPGs by working together. Rich and poor countries and emerging economies alike will then share the responsibility for them. Poor countries are often vulnerable to international issues and have little say in them. Their location may, for example, be vulnerable, or they may lack the money to tackle problems. The concept of IPGs enables poor countries to strengthen their position and interests in international negotiations.

Raw materials as IPG

Raw materials are an important example of an IPG. No single country can find all the raw materials needed for domestic production and consumption within its own borders. So it is essential that the market should operate properly and that supply lines should be open and reliable. This ensures supply security for raw materials.

Supply security for raw materials is closely linked to other issues such as water supply and agricultural production. Mining, for example, needs huge quantities of water, which is not always available locally. And if there is enough water, it is often needed for other purposes: for farming, for consumption by people and animals, and as industrial cooling water.

But the greatest challenge is to increase food production to meet the needs of the world’s population. By 2050, it is expected to have grown to 9.5 billion.

The Netherlands and its partners are committed to promoting supply security for raw materials. A Special Envoy on Natural Resources has been appointed to work together with a network of countries in fields including trade, politics, environment, development and supply security.

Results of development cooperation

The government wants taxpayers and the House of Representatives to know how the development budget is being spent. Every year, therefore, the embassies and the policy theme departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issue an overview of the results achieved. This forms the basis for a letter to the House of Representatives setting out progress on the priority themes of development cooperation policy.