Finland responds to humanitarian needs by a nearly EUR 70 million support package

Finland responds to humanitarian needs by a nearly EUR 70 million support package

Of the support, EUR four million will be channelled to Yemen, which is suffering from the worst humanitarian crisis of world with over 80 per cent of the population in need of assistance.

In the first round of distribution of funds for humanitarian assistance in 2019, by decision of Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen, Finland grants EUR 68.35 million to United Nations' humanitarian organisations, International Committee of the Red Cross, and Finnish civil society organisations. Of this sum, EUR 35.5 million is core funding. Humanitarian organisations can decide on its use at short notice and flexibly.

Regionally the most important targets are the humanitarian crises in the Middle East and Africa, which are granted EUR 29.5 million in all. Half of this will be channelled to the Middle East and the other half will be targeted to Africa. In addition, Finland supports Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Ukraine by a total of EUR 3.2 million.

In Yemen, 24 million people, representing over 80% of the population of the country, are in need of assistance. Finland will announce its EUR four million support for Yemen at the UN Pledging Event in Geneva on 26 February. This is one million more than last year. The assistance will be channelled via the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Save the Children.

"Finland shoulders its responsibility for alleviating the distress and humanitarian assistance is the most reliable and effective means to do that. We want to help and develop humanitarian organisations' work by granting them core funding. Our partners are present in all major crises," Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen says.

In this decade, the need of humanitarian assistance has grown considerably worldwide. Most assistance work is related to protracted crises. This year's total requirement is approximately EUR 20 billion for about 130 million people in 42 countries. Finland complements its country-specific support by means of multiannual core funding for humanitarian organisations to help them plan and implement their activities more effectively.

Funding is granted to the following international organisations: United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), World Food Programme (WFP), International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Additionally, Finland provides funding to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Of Finnish civil society organisations, Finland supports Finn Church Aid, Red Cross Finland, Fida International, Plan International Finland, World Vision Finland and Save the Children Finland.

Inquiries: Claus Lindroos, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, tel. +358 40 132 1416; Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, tel. +358 40 552 8200

The Foreign Ministry's email addresses are of the format [email protected]