Together with a number of Dutch non-profits and the global ONE Campaign, we started a petition in October 2020, urging politicians to invest more in global health. On July 6 we handed it over to representatives in the Dutch parliament. But this is not where it ends. That would be when the Netherlands has crafted and implemented a global strategy for a healthier and better world.
The changing trend
The Netherlands used to be a champion in official development assistance (ODA). Sometimes the country even dedicated more than 0.7% of its Gross National Income for international development. In the last decade, this trend went downhill. According to Donor Tracker, in 2020, it was 0.59% and this year it is predicted to be 0.55% of the GNI. Although the Netherlands is also one of the biggest funders of global health, a decreasing ODA means a decreasing contribution to health.
Concerned by this trend, the joint NGOs and the ONE campaign started the petition to raise awareness and ultimately turn the tide. The COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak. The global health crisis made it blatantly obvious how strong health systems everywhere could have avoided this disaster. The aim was to hand over the petition to newly elected members of parliament and urge them to increase action for global health.
“The whole world is still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and health needs more attention than ever”
The petition has ended, but the job is far from done. “The whole world is still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and health needs more attention than ever,” says Paul van den Berg, Senior Political Advisor at Cordaid. “The pandemic also made it clear that the concept of health cannot be confined within borders. That’s why we are advising the Dutch politicians to invest more in global health. Also to develop a Dutch global health strategy and put it to action. It’s key to realise that investing in health worldwide is also investing in health here.”
“I hope the petition convinces Parliament that a Dutch Global Health Strategy is long overdue.”
Corinne Hinlopen, Global Health Policy Researcher at Wemos, a Dutch Global Health Alliance member, adds: “I hope the petition convinces Parliament that a Dutch Global Health Strategy is long overdue. The Dutch Global Health Alliance is ready to engage. We will provide input for the framework and contents of such a strategy.”
We are doing our best to make our politicians aware of the importance of global health and how best we can invest in it. This is crucial not only for people in the fragile countries, but also for the Netherlands. The rest is in their hands. We hope to see quick actions on global health from our parliament.
Read the result of a poll run under the petition: Dutch say ‘no’ to vaccine nationalism and ‘yes’ to global health
Download the vaccine booklet on global health here (in Dutch): Vaccination Booklet Global Health