Recognition of access to safe drinking water and sanitation is a basic human right. Providing access to improved water and sanitation services is the main objective of the Dutch WASH policy. High importance is given to the sustainability of the services for which good governance, financing and capacity development are important elements.

Special focus on sanitation.

Principles: pro-poor, good governance, gender and an integrated approach within IWRM framework and links with food security. 

Implementation in a reduced number of countries and delta’s in which the Netherlands has a track –record and where we have an added value.

Implementation through a balanced mix of different aid channels Adheres to the Aid effectiveness principles and support partnerships for more effective collaboration


The Netherlands used the following criteria to select priority recipient countries: countries/regions of greatest need (in terms of coverage/access figures and poverty figures), established presence/relationship in-country or in-region (only in the case of bilateral aid), existence of strong national sector plans and budgets, strategic dialogue with countries, quality of governance or reform efforts, relevance and significance of the Dutch contribution, fragile or conflict-affected state, published targets or coverage of spending, and added value of contribution and support of The Netherlands.

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Specific Target
From 2010 till 2015, an additional 25 million people will gain access to WASH services, both in rural and urban areas.

A report on development cooperation including MDG realization 2009-2010 has been presented to Parliament in September 2011. This report includes a section on MDG7c.


Water management, including drinking water and sanitation is one of the four key priorities for development cooperation.

In 2008 and 2010, 100% of commitments for sanitation and drinking-water was allocated to 3 to under 5 year programmes.

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Sanitation: 30% (est.)
Drinking-water: 70% (est.)


Tied vs. Untied Aid

Aid Coordinated with Country Programmes
100% of bilateral aid and 90% of overall WASH aid is coordinated with country programmes.

Use of Country Procurement Systems
Yes, with the exception of Bangladesh in 2010 where the programme was implemented through an NGO and in countries where The Netherlands works with UNICEF (UNICEF procurement regulations are followed in such cases).

Use of Project Implementation Units

The Netherlands agrees to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005), the Accra Agenda for Action (2008) and Bhusan Outcome document.


Dick van Ginhoven
Senior Advisor Water and Sanitation
Water Energy Climate and Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
P.O Box 20061 2500 EB Den Haag
The Netherlands
Email : dc-van.ginhoven@minbuza.nl
Tel. : 31 70 3485518