Supporting international non-governmental organisations to promote tax transparency and sexual and reproductive health and rights in developing countries

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 17 million to international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) for 2021–2024. The support was granted to five organisations for their work on promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHRs) worldwide, and especially in Afghanistan, and for strengthening tax transparency in sub-Saharan Africa.

The funding has a significant role in promoting the goals of Finland's development cooperation. Support to INGOs is one of the ways to contribute to effective and efficient development cooperation. In this call for proposals for discretionary government grants, EUR 15 million was allocated for the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights and EUR 2 million for strengthening tax justice.

Funding allocated to tax justice is part of the implementation of the Government’s Taxation for Development Action Programme.

“A reliable and efficient tax system that is considered just is an essential element of well-functioning societies. Through this funding, we support civil societies’ capacity to call on governments to collect tax revenue and use them for providing public services,” Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari says.

Promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights is one of the key goals in Finland's development cooperation. The coronavirus pandemic has weakened the availability of SRHR services globally.

“The funding will support women's and girls’ opportunities to access these vitally important services. Through this support we contribute to advancing the lives of women and girls with disabilities, women and girls belonging to minorities and those suffering from humanitarian crises,” Skinnari says. 

Discretionary government funding has been granted to the following organisations:

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), EUR 3.5 million in 2021–2022. IPPF is an international federation of family planning associations. Its 118 Member Associations (including Family Federation of Finland) offer information about sexual and reproductive health and rights and related training and services. In addition, the federation is one of the most important actors in international forums in advocating for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Ipas, EUR 3.5 million in 2021–2022. Ipas is one of the few international SRHR actors that concentrates mainly on safe abortion and improved access to modern contraception. Among other areas of work, the organisation focuses on African countries where the availability of abortion care is limited.

MSI Reproductive Choices, EUR 8 million in 2021–2024. MSI (originally Marie Stopes International) is an international non-governmental organisation that promotes sexual and reproductive health in 37 countries. Marie Stopes Afghanistan is the longest-serving independent SRHR actor in the country, aiming to reduce maternal and child mortality.

Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), EUR 1.2 million in 2021–2022. NRGI is an international non-profit organisation focusing on the transparency of the extractive industries in countries rich in oil, gas and minerals. NRGI aims to ensure accountability in the sector and sustainable benefits for citizens. 

Stichting Onderzoek Multinationale Ondernemingen (SOMO), EUR 800,000 in 2021–2022. SOMO is a non-profit centre for research on multinational corporations. The organisation investigates the impacts of said corporations’ business activities on people and the environment. It works in close cooperation with African non-governmental organisations in promoting tax justice.