ODA Spending

How much ODA does the Netherlands allocate to education?

In absolute terms, the Netherlands was the 15th-largest DAC donor country to education in 2022.

The Netherlands was the 28th-largest DAC donor to education relative to its overall ODA in 2022, spending just 3% of its total ODA on education.

How is educational ODA from the Netherlands changing?

Formerly a major focus area, emphasis on education has decreased since 2018. Dutch funding to education has fluctuated considerably over the past five years, peaking at US$297 million in 2018 and decreasing to US$196 million in 2022. In the newest development strategy, the Dutch government wrote that it would prioritize larger and longer programs in a smaller number of priority areas.


How does the Netherlands allocate educational ODA?

Bilateral Spending

The majority of bilateral education ODA was directed toward primary education and higher education, with both receiving 44% and 43% of total bilateral education ODA, respectively.

The Netherlands contributes funding to GPE, which is considered earmarked funding through multilaterals and is counted as bilateral flows.

The Netherlands has concentrated education interventions on COVID-19 response and gender equality. On International Women’s Day in March 2021, former Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag announced that the Netherlands allocated an additional US$59 million for GPE to ensure that more children, particularly girls, have access to education.


Multilateral Spending and Commitments

The Netherlands' core funding to multilaterals made up 57% US$111 million of its ODA to education in 2022, well above the DAC average of 26%.

The table below summarizes the Netherlands more recent commitments to multilaterals working on education. Some of these commitments are considered core funding to multilaterals while others will are earmarked funding through multilaterals.

Funding & Policy Outlook

What is the current government's outlook on educational ODA?

Despite its deprioritization, education receives ample support in Dutch Parliament. Investment in higher education, vocational training, and employment in the ‘Horn of Africa’ and the MENA region is emphasized as a mechanism to ‘prevent migration.’


The Netherlands occasionally provides ODA to education as part of humanitarian assistance or asylum support. Of the additional US$76 million that was approved for the 2023 development budget, US$22 million went towards hosting asylum seekers in Pakistan and the MENA region especially for the education of children. In early 2024, The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs committed US$54 million for the launch of PROSPECTS 2.0 over the period 2024-2027 in Kenya to promote socio-economic integration between refugees and host communities, with education and learning being a key focus.


If the more right-wing parties that won the November 2023 election form the new coalition government, ODA to education is expected to decrease even further, though it may continue to be used as part of humanitarian assistance as a mechanism to prevent further migration to the Netherlands.


Key Bodies

Related Publications

A new era of development assistance: Key takeaways from the G7 summit

Donor Updates in Brief: 2023 OECD Preliminary Data

December 2023 Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Roundup 

Looking for a cross donor perspective?

Learn more about SEEK's work on education

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