Development cooperation in themes

Over the past few years, development co-operation has been organised around themes in which Dutch resources, knowledge and expertise can make a difference. Food security, water, sexual and reproductive health & rights and security & rule of law are core themes for the Netherlands, as are women's rights & gender equality, climate and private sector development. In addition, the Netherlands is working to strengthen civil society in developing countries, offers humanitarian aid and works on prospects for refugees, host communities & migration cooperation. Furthermore, the themes of education and youth have recently been added.

The current Cabinet has embraced the SDGs as an international framework for its theme-based policy. Within this framework, the Cabinet has set new focus areas, such as education.

More information on the SDGs and how the Netherlands' theme-based policy complements them can be found on the page on SDGs.

Further information on the current Cabinet policy and the SDGs can be found on the page on Development Cooperation.

The themes

Food security



Security and rule of Law

Women’s rights and gender equality


Private sector development

Civil society

Prospects for refugees and migration cooperation

Humanitarian aid


Results achieved for themes

Select a theme below to get a summary of what was achieved in 2019. You will also see where in the world these theme received the most attention.