In recent years, the number of people in need as a result of ongoing conflicts and natural disasters has increased. The increase in needs and complexity of humanitarian crises requires a flexible and powerful humanitarian system that can respond effectively.
The Netherlands worked with UN organisations, the ICRC, the Red Cross, the START fund and the Dutch Relief Alliance to offer life-saving help. Specific attention was paid to vulnerable groups, such as women, children, differently-abled people or people with mental health problems. The Netherlands used its political influence to represent the interests of people in need and to ensure that humanitarian organisations are able to do their work unhindered. Within humanitarian aid, additional attention was given to mental health and psychosocial care . In addition, the Netherlands tightened its agreements with partners on ethical codes, reporting inappropriate behaviour, particularly of a sexual nature, and preventing it in the future.
Finally, the Netherlands is committed to strengthening the humanitarian response and humanitarian system. In order to increase transparency in the sector, both humanitarian partners and donors were encouraged to share data on aid via open sources (IATI). Furthermore, the Netherlands only supports programmes that adhere to UN cluster coordination and international standards, in order to avoid duplication between programmes and gaps in service delivery. Lastly, humanitarian response is strengthened by ongoing innovation as a way to increase efficiency of spending and effectiveness of humanitarian aid.