Humanitarian aid and migration - PR UN, WTO and other organisations Geneva

Humanitarian aid and migration

Finding solutions together

Hundreds of million people around the world are in desperate need of international protection and lifesaving support. They are struck by natural disasters or seeking refuge from war and violence. They need food, medicine, shelter and much more.

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People in need deserve assistance to survive and rebuild their lives. As a member of the international community, the Netherlands therefore assumes its responsibility. By enabling international assistance financially, as well as through diplomatic and political efforts, to ensure that aid delivery is fair, effective and efficient. 

With substantial unearmarked and multiyear funding, the Netherlands supports the work of the United Nations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and international NGOs. At the same time, we promote respect for human rights and International Humanitarian and Refugee Law, and support efforts aimed at reaching those most in need. We do so from our headquarter in The Hague, through our embassies and via the permanent representations in New York, Rome and Brussels, and, in particular through the permanent representation in Geneva, the international humanitarian hub.

Focus areas

In the challenging domains of humanitarian action, forced displacement and migration, the Netherlands attaches particular importance to the following areas:

Principled Humanitarian Action

  • Protection and resilience of vulnerable populations though respect for International Humanitarian Law and improved humanitarian access; 
  • Providing partners with predictable, multiyear and unearmarked funding so they can operate flexibly where needs are highest;
  • Supporting efforts to improve the functioning of the humanitarian system and strengthen coordination;
  • Promoting efforts to better align humanitarian action, long-term development cooperation and peacebuilding through joined needs analyses and working towards collective outcomes;
  • Strengthening the position and capacity of local and national actors through more inclusive cooperation and meaningful partnership;
  • Exploring ways for anticipatory action, disaster preparedness and reducing the climate footprint of aid organisations;
  • Promoting the integration of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in crisis response, refugee protection, conflict prevention and peace building;
  • Promoting efforts to prevent and address sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment (PSEAH) in aid delivery;
  • Monitoring developments in protracted and emerging crises and their humanitarian consequences.

Forced Displacement and Migration

The number of people that are forcefully displaced and rely on international assistance to survive is at an all-time high and keeps on growing. In addition, large numbers of people migrate seeking opportunities for a better life.

In the spirit of the Global Compact on Refugees, the Netherlands invests in the protection and self-reliance of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) throughout the world and in assisting them and host communities alike. The Netherlands also strives for safe, orderly and regular migration in line with the 360 degrees approach to migration as enshrined in the Global Compact for Migration.

Water Diplomacy

Water is a critical issue that affects everyone, especially people caught in crisis situations.

Scarcity over water drives conflicts and thus humanitarian needs and forced displacement. And too much water threatens peoples’ lives and their livelihoods. At the same time, providing access to safe drinking water in sufficient quantities is essential in emergencies and crises. As are basic sanitation and hygiene.

In 2023, the Netherlands co-hosted the UN Water Conference which resulted in a Water Action Agenda to address such global water challenges.

Geneva, the international humanitarian hub

In all these areas, the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Geneva maintains relations and works closely together with, amongst others, the following organisations:

  • The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA);
  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • The International Organization for Migration (IOM);
  • The World Health Organization (WHO);
  • The Geneva offices of the World Food Program (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)UNICEF and others;
  • The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR);
  • Coordination Mechanism of the United Nations' work on Water and Sanitation (UN-Water);
  • The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC);
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC);
  • Key international NGOs based in Geneva, including ICVA.

The Netherlands also supports initiatives to prevent and help overcome conflicts, by partnering with Geneva based organisations such as the Centre for Humanitarian DialogueInterpeace and the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance DCAF.