Humanitarian aid brings relief in times of need

Every year hundreds of millions of people suffer as the result of natural disasters, climate change, armed conflicts and other crises. Humanitarian aid saves human lives, relieves human suffering, and maintains human dignity during a crisis. It is financed from Finland’s development cooperation appropriations.

Focusing aid where the need is greatest

The global need for humanitarian aid has never been as great as it is today. In February 2019, the United Nations estimated that almost 139 million people would be in need of humanitarian assistance in the current year. Approximately USD 24.5 billion will be required to help the nearly 104 million people in the most critical need of humanitarian assistance.


Finnish aid is directed to countries that have made a formal aid request to the UN, provided that their humanitarian situation has been subject to a reliable needs assessment and a UN-coordinated consolidated appeal has been made by humanitarian aid organisations.

When making an aid decision, Finland considers several factors: the extent of the crisis, the proportion of the population affected by it, the numbers of dead and sick, those in need of emergency aid and acutely malnourished children under the age of five.

Finland is committed to channeling annually about 10 percent of its development aid appropriations for humanitarian aid directed to official development assistance recipient countries (ODA).