The Netherlands strengthens its international commitment to health

The Netherlands is intensifying its international efforts on health. For the first time, the Council of Ministers agreed on a cabinet-wide Dutch Global Health Strategy upon proposal from Minister Schreinemacher for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and Minister Kuipers for Health, Welfare and Sport. The government will focus more on strengthening health systems worldwide and international cooperation in preparation for future pandemics. In addition, extra attention will be paid to the consequences of climate change on public health. The Netherlands is also increasing international health expenditures with at least 109 million euros in 2023 to 134 million euros in 2026.

Cross-border health challenges

The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change show that health challenges are complex and increasingly transboundary. The most vulnerable people are hit the hardest. About a third of the world's population does not have access to affordable, essential health care. In order to be better prepared for this in the future and to contribute to health for everyone, more international cooperation and innovation is necessary. With the new health strategy, the government is making a greater contribution to public health worldwide. This will also provide better protection for the Netherlands.

Strengthening health systems and collaboration

Strengthening national health systems and better international cooperation to prepare for future pandemics is an important part of the strengthened international commitment. The government is strongly committed to increasing access to and quality of basic health care, including sexual and reproductive health and rights in developing countries. The Netherlands will deploy additional resources to strengthen the World Health Organization and contribute to the World Bank's new pandemic preparedness fund.

Dutch solutions

Climate change leads, among other things, to the spread of infectious diseases and reduced access to safe food, clean drinking water and sanitation. This linkage is also part of the new strategy, which focuses on making healthcare more sustainable worldwide as well as on addressing the effects of climate change on health. With expertise, the Netherlands can provide added value here. In the coming years, the government will seek to capitalize on this by exploring options for improved financing for access to and quality of health care in developing countries together with the business community. In addition, a Dutch Global Health Hub will be established to promote cooperation between government, the private sector, knowledge institutions and civil society in the field of health.