HELSINKI, 10 July 2015 – High-level representatives of governments from OSCE participating States and their Mediterranean and Asian Partners for Co-operation gathered today in Helsinki to mark the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act.
The commemorative event, followed by the high-level discussion, symbolically took place in the Finlandia Hall where the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe was signed on 1 August 1975.
The new centre-right Finnish government has decided to cut development aid by 43%, prompting furious reactions from NGOs and fears other EU countries will follow its example.
The new Finnish government, which took power on 29 May and has former EU commissioner Olli Rehn as minister of economic affairs, has decided to reduce the budget for development cooperation by 43%.
The European Commission is facilitating the deployment of a large cargo of equipment to Nepal. International Humanitarian Partnership countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Luxembourg) will establish a "base camp" for 60 humanitarian workers to support relief operations in the Sindhupalchowk district.
Finland will grant an additional one million euros in humanitarian aid to help the earthquake victims in Nepal.
The aid will be channelled via the World Health Organization WHO (EUR 500,000) and the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF (EUR 500,00). Finland's total support to the Nepal earthquake victims is more than EUR 3 million and it will be allocated from the humanitarian aid appropriations that make part of Finland's development cooperation funds.
Approximately 16 million people are in need of humanitarian aid. There is a constant danger of running out of food, water, and fuel.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen gets worse every day. There is a shortage of medicine, clean water, and fuel. There are fears food may also run out. Yemen is an impoverished country where approximately 16 million people were in need of help even before the conflict began. The fighting makes the situation of those already in a weak position even worse.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Finland will contribute EUR 15 million to help the victims of the Syrian crisis. Under-Secretary of State Anne Sipiläinen informed about Finland's support in the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in Kuwait City on 31 March. High-level representatives from the donor countries and the neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees participated in the Conference.
Press Release 83/2015 16 March 2015
Finland has signed a new multi-year funding agreement that will see the long-term partner of UNRWA contribute EUR 4.5 million (US$ 4.8 million) per year to the UNRWA General Fund between 2015 and 2018.
Finland has allocated EUR 500,000 in humanitarian aid to help the victims of the Ukraine conflict. The support will be channelled to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies (IFRC) via the Finnish Red Cross.
• Aid organisations have assessed and verified the needs of 41,304 people displaced due to conflict in North Darfur and parts of the Jebel Marra area.
• Over 10,000 South Sudanese have been registered across 12 sites in Khartoum State, according to UNHCR.
• IOM registers over 16,300 displaced people and returnees in South Darfur's Um Dafug town.
• Finland contributes US$3.46 million towards WFP Cash and Voucher Programmes in Sudan that will assist 330,360 IDPs and refugees
Today, the Government of Finland is responding with a contribution of €2.5 million to the cash flow problems of East Jerusalem Hospitals as a result of the Palestinian Authority's financial crisis. The contribution, which is channelled through the PEGASE mechanism will help to cover part of outstanding costs of referrals of patients for treatment to East Jerusalem Hospitals by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
KHARTOUM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution from the government of Finland to WFP operations in Sudan.
This new contribution of US$3.46 million will assist 330,360 internally displaced people and refugees who are currently receiving cash and vouchers in camps in Darfur in western Sudan and in Kassala state in central and eastern Sudan.
Ukraine - Conflict
Intensive attacks in the eastern Ukraine, including the deadly attacks in Mariupol have caused 5,000 casualties since the beginning of the conflict. Humanitarian needs are also increasing; over 900,000 IDPs and 600,000 refugees to neighbouring countries, mainly to Russia have been reported.
Finland has, on 26 January, granted one million euros in humanitarian aid to the International Red Cross for the work to combat Ebola in West Africa. This support for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is channelled through the Finnish Red Cross.
The Finnish Ministry of the Interior has decided to send to Ukraine movable tents suitable for winter conditions. They can be used as a field hospital, support for the delivery of humanitarian aid or accommodation for aid workers.
The tents are sent as a response to a request for assistance addressed to the EU by Ukrainian authorities. The European Commission will coordinate the logistics of the assistance and ensure that it reaches its destination in Ukraine.
By decision of Development Minister Sirpa Paatero on 17 December, in the last distribution of funds for humanitarian assistance, Finland has granted 13.5 million euros to long-lasting and underfunded crises. The support is awarded to Finn Church Aid and UN organizations. The decision brings Finland’s humanitarian assistance this year to 105.7 million euros. This is a record-high amount for Finland, which indicates the extent of the world’s crises.
A new batch of urgently needed medical and relief supplies is leaving to the Ebola-affected region in West Africa today on board of the Dutch ship "Karel Doorman".
For the second time, as part of the coordinated European response to the Ebola outbreak, the Netherlands has offered to transport vital supplies free of charge. The vessel is carrying 1,500 tons of food for the World Food Programme (WFP) in addition to more than 50 vehicles, medical supplies and protective clothing for health personnel offered by Belgium, France, Germany and the UK.
Finland is increasing its support for Ukraine owing to the country’s difficult political, economic and humanitarian situation. Finland’s support to Ukraine in 2014 will total 6.4 million euros. In addition, Finland has dispatched, among others, OSCE observers, border control experts and election observers, as well as anti-corruption and administrative reform experts, to Ukraine.