Dutch Development Results 2019 in Perspective: Food and Nutrition Security highlights
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has presented its annual online report providing an overview of the results achieved by the Netherlands in the field of development cooperation in 2019. Under the theme Food and Nutrition Security, the Netherlands contributed to greater nutrient intake, productivity and market access, better management of natural resources and greater resilience to economic and environmental shocks.
In the online report “Dutch Development Results 2019 in Perspective”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides an overview of the results achieved by the Netherlands in the field of development cooperation in 2019. The report describes per theme and per country the results achieved by the Netherlands and its partners between October 2018 and October 2019. The Results thus have not been affected by the current COVID-19 crisis. The consequences of this crisis will put their mark on the results in the years to come.
The Netherlands has a special development relationship with 19 partner countries. In addition, specific regional programmes have been established for the Great Lakes region. The combination of social development and economic growth is at the core of the Netherlands’ development policy. Within this policy, the focus is on themes in which the Netherlands is strong and 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.
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 and youth.
Theme Food and Nutrition Security (FNS)
Food security policy contributes to achieving the targets of SDG2: end malnutrition and undernourishment, double the productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers and ensure sustainable food production systems. This is a matter of great urgency, because world hunger has increased in the past several years.
The Netherlands has decided how it can realistically contribute to SDG2, identifying three long-term goals to be achieved by 2030. These are as follows:
- End malnutrition for 32 million people, particularly children;
- Double the productivity and income of 8 million small-scale food producers;
- Achieve ecologically sustainable use of 8 million hectares of farmland.
Apart from activities directly targeting these goals, the Netherlands is also working to better ensure preconditions for food security. These include knowledge and capacity, land-use rights and the position of women, in cohesion with other sectors and themes. This report highlights a number of the results the Netherlands has achieved in these areas as well.
FNS Results 2019
In 2019, the Netherlands again reached many malnourished people and small-scale producers, with many positive results: improved nutrient intake, greater productivity and market access, improved land use and more resilience to economic and environmental shocks.
In this report the focus is also on three preconditions for food security: land-use rights, the position of women and knowledge and innovation. The results show that the Netherlands has made a substantial contribution to them all. The number of hectares of sustainably used farmland fell short of the target in 2019, because the programmes in question are still partly under development. They will receive more attention in the coming period.
Specific result areas are:
- Malnutrition – Contribution to ending malnutrition by 2030
- Agriculture – Contribution to doubling the productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers by 2030
- Ecological sustainability – Contribution to more ecologically sustainable land use
- Preconditions – Better preconditions for food and nutrition security
The Dutch commitment to food security helps people improve their nutrition, farming and use of natural resources. These are steps in the right direction. However, these improvements do not show the extent to which this will help the Netherlands contribute to the SDG 2 targets: a sustainable improvement in the nutritional status of 32 million people, doubling the productivity and income of 8 million farmers and fully ecologically sustainable use of 8 million hectares of land and water. In many cases, we cannot yet fully confirm that we will reach these ultimate, long-term outcomes. As of next year, we plan to give a more precise account of the progress we have made each year towards achieving our goals, on the basis of internationally validated impact indicators. We will use indicators that will show not only where there have (or have not) been improvements but also, wherever possible, whether these are lasting. Scores on these indicators will initially be low for new activities, but will rise as their impact increases.