Countries and regions

The Netherlands has a special relationship with certain countries in the field of development cooperation and works directly with the governments in question. The form this partnership takes varies from country to country.

Types of cooperation with developing countries

The countries with whose governments the Netherlands has a direct working relationship can be found in the following four focus regions: the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and North Africa. The form this partnership takes varies, depending on a country's specific needs, the added value of the Netherlands’ contribution, and relevance to the government’s overall policy framework.

  • Broad-based development cooperation relationship 
    The Netherlands has a broad-based development cooperation relationship with 12 countries whose level of development is low. This entails organising activities related to various UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): education, employment, women’s rights, sexual health and reproductive rights, food, water, climate and the rule of law.
    Main focus areas include digitalisation and sustainability. 
    The Netherlands has a broad-based development cooperation relationship with Benin, Burkino Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, the Palestinian Territories, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Yemen.
  • Development relationship targeting specific objectives
    The Netherlands has a development relationship with 10 low- and middle-income countries that focus on an objective specific to that country. Examples include the reception of refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
    The Netherlands has a relationship based on specific objectives with the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chad, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Somalia and Tunisia.
    In addition to activities in these countries, the Netherlands will extend the regional Great Lakes programme, focusing on stability in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the wider region.
  • Combination countries
    In the 14 combination countries, the Netherlands combine trade with development cooperation activities. Development-related challenges and opportunities for trade in the field of sustainability and digitalisation informed the choice of these countries.
    The combination countries are: Bangladesh, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam.

Phasing out the development relationship

The Netherlands will phase out the bilateral development relationship – in many cases already fairly modest in size – with a number of countries, including Mauritania, Libya and Algeria.