EU development ministers discuss common European response to the pandemic

EU development ministers discuss common European response to the pandemic

On 8 April, EU development ministers discussed the EU’s common response to the global impacts of coronavirus. At the meeting, Minister for International Development Ville Skinnari told about Finland’s first-hand measures.

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic may aggravate the world's humanitarian crises. The situation is worst in fragile countries and countries affected by prolonged conflicts with a poor healthcare system and a great number of people in a vulnerable position. People who are staying in refugee camps and similar settlements are hit hardest. Additional global measures are therefore necessary to strengthen the ability to be prepared and to prevent and contain the virus.

EU development ministers are exploring a coordinated and strong European response to the impacts of coronavirus in developing countries. The EU focuses on those in the greatest distress and on countries with a poor socio-economic capacity to cope with crises.

“A global crisis cannot be resolved without international cooperation. Finland participates in the EU’s joint action also through our own humanitarian assistance and development cooperation,” Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari says.

“We support the global measures aimed at fighting the impacts of coronavirus by an initial contribution of EUR 23 million. The main part of the support will be directed to humanitarian assistance as a response to the emergency appeals launched by the UN and the Red Cross, to the WHO and other UN agencies, as well as to the development of a vaccine against coronavirus. The funding will be transferred to these urgent actions from the state budget for the current year. It is important that the EU Member States respond to partner countries’ needs in a coordinated and proactive manner. We are in an emergency whose consequences will be far-reaching and impact all countries,” Minister Skinnari says.

Inquiries: Kirsi Airio, Special Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 50 574 1729, and Satu Santala, Director General of the Department for Development Policy, tel. +358 40 752 1770.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format [email protected].