‘In the interest of health for all? The Dutch ‘Aid and Trade’ agenda as pursued in the African healthcare context’

For the last 10 years, the Netherlands has been pursuing a so-called Aid & Trade agenda. It combines international cooperation and development of the private sector in low and middle-income countries (‘Aid’) with the interests of Dutch companies and investors in these countries (‘Trade’). Not an unfamiliar approach in light of the international ‘maximising finance for development’ and ‘mutual prosperity’ approaches promoted by the World Bank, other multilateral banks and donor countries. The question is what it does in the health context.

Our paper ‘In the interest of Health for All?’ explains how the Dutch Aid & Trade (A&T) agenda is being rolled out in Africa’s health sector. It shows that  A&T instruments, when used in healthcare, prioritise private sector development and push for public-private partnerships in primary healthcare without using sufficient evidence regarding their expected health and UHC outcomes. A risky approach, as is discussed in the paper. A&T in health may unintendedly hinder instead of support countries’ progress towards universal and equitable access to health services. Moreover, general principles of development effectiveness, including the untying of aid, transparency and democratic ownership, are at stake.

Wemos discussion paper : ‘In the interest of health for all? The Dutch ‘Aid and Trade’ agenda as pursued in the African healthcare context’

The link to this paper can also be found in this mini article on Wemos website: https://www.wemos.nl/en/dutch-aid-trade-in-health-at-odds-with-health-equity/#more-10180  


Your contact point for this report:


Barbara Fienieg

Senior Global Health Advocate 


PO Box 1693

1000 BR Amsterdam

The Netherlands

 T +31 20 435 20 56

S Bfienieg


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