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WHO and the Netherlands strengthen their partnership

WHO and the Netherlands strengthen their partnership


WHO-Netherlands Strategic Dialogue in The Hague, Netherlands 10 April 2024 Credit: WHO

WHO and the Netherlands gathered in The Hague on 10 April 2024 to discuss joint priorities and alignment of the Dutch Global Health Strategy and WHO's key strategic objectives, marking a new milestone in their long-standing partnership.

Rooted in the Netherlands' unwavering commitment to global health, human rights and universal access to comprehensive health services, the collaboration between WHO and the Netherlands is essential in addressing global health challenges and fostering health and well-being, globally and domestically. .

In the context of ongoing conflicts, disasters and the increasing impact of climate change, and the interconnectedness of the Dutch public health landscape in the Netherlands with global health challenges, this year's Strategic Dialogue emerged as a critical platform for reflection on long-term partnerships. the concept of vision.

“In this strategic dialogue, during all sessions, WHO and the Netherlands have shown commitment to cooperation and deepening their partnership based on a strong alignment of their priorities and goals,” said Ms. Marjolijn Sonnema, Director General for Public Health in the Netherlands ' Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

A key outcome of the Strategic Dialogue was the recognition of alignment between the Dutch Global Health Strategy and the upcoming 14th WHO General Program of Work, paving the way for synergies in areas such as health system strengthening, pandemic preparedness, climate change and health, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and mental health support.

“At a time when inequality in health and access to basic health services and financial protection is growing, disproportionately affecting the poor and most vulnerable, the Netherlands is a world leader in health and a trusted partner of the WHO. With shared priorities and commitment to sexual and reproductive rights, gender equality, health systems, security, climate resilience and mental health, we look forward to strengthening our partnership to improve the health and well-being of all, globally and in the Netherlands,” said Dr Bruce Aylward, WHO Assistant Director-General, Universal Health Coverage, Life Course .

WHO recognized the global leadership of the Netherlands as a flexible donor, with agreement on the imperative to ensure more sustainable funding for WHO, through the inaugural WHO investment round. This WHO initiative aims to mobilize the predictable, sustainable and flexible resources necessary for WHO to rapidly and effectively respond to global health challenges and improve health outcomes, especially for vulnerable populations.

Addressing contemporary challenges such as geopolitical tensions while seizing opportunities to advance global health goals was also on the table during the dialogue. Both sides emphasized the importance of continuous cooperation for a comprehensive solution to urgent health problems.

Reviewing the joint achievements since the previous strategic dialogue in 2022

In 2022, the Strategic Dialogue between the Netherlands and WHO called on both partners to improve the synergy between WHO's priorities and the new Dutch Global Health Strategy. By implementing this approach, the Netherlands and WHO:

  • They expanded cooperation to new areas of mutual interest, eg climate change and health;
  • Renewed their long-standing cooperation in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as mental health and psychosocial support in emergency health situations and humanitarian situations;
  • Improved flexibility and predictability of Dutch financial support through renewed General Agreements with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2022-2025) and the Ministry of Health, Social Welfare and Sport (2024-2028), demonstrating the Netherlands' commitment to sustainable WHO funding;
  • Together they hosted the 2nd World Forum of Local Production in the Netherlands;
  • They continued and deepened their technical cooperation through referrals, junior professional officers and collaborative centers.

The outcomes of the 2024 dialogue will inform future collaboration between the Netherlands and WHO, so that efforts are aligned and optimal use of resources helps to achieve improved health outcomes worldwide. The enduring partnership between the Netherlands and WHO represents a cornerstone in the global health landscape, reflecting a shared commitment to advancing health and well-being globally.


The Netherlands is a key supporter and strategic partner of the WHO.

In the period 2022-2023, the Netherlands was one of the five largest flexible contributors to WHO with almost USD 19 million in core voluntary contributions. In total, the Netherlands has contributed more than USD 106 million to the WHO in 2022-2023, of which USD 93 million, almost 90%, is voluntary funding.

The Netherlands also supports WHO's technical expertise through staff secondments and helps to strengthen the careers of young people in public health through the WHO's Junior Professional Officer Programme.

This demonstrates the commitment of the Netherlands through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health, Social Welfare and Sport to the central role of the WHO in the global health architecture.

Through this support, the Netherlands contributes to key activities in the areas of sexual and reproductive health, water and sanitation, mental health in emergencies, emergency preparedness, tuberculosis, One Health, primary care, antimicrobial resistance, while facilitating cooperation with top Dutch institutions .

See more information on the partnership between the Netherlands and WHO.




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