Focus on famine in Africa and Syrian crisis - Finland channels over EUR 61 million in humanitarian aid

Report
from Government of Finland
Published on 27 Mar 2017 View Original

Press release 56/2017 27 March 2017

By decision of Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen, Finland’s humanitarian aid will amount to EUR 61.4 million, of which approximately EUR 20 million will be channelled to the famine-hit countries in the Horn of Africa and to Nigeria and Yemen.

“The Horn of Africa is facing the worst food crisis in recent history. Approximately 20 million people suffer from shortage of food and water. The spread of such contagious diseases as cholera and malaria is aggravating the situation. The number of refugees has tripled since the humanitarian crisis of 2010–2011. Finland must be among those that are providing assistance,” Minister Mykkänen says.

Famine has been declared in two States in South Sudan. The conflict has led to a wide-scale flow of refugees especially to Uganda, where approximately 2,000 refugees arrive every day at present. At the same time Uganda is affected by drought.

Finland will channel a total of EUR 7.6 million to relieve the refugee situation in South Sudan and the Horn of Africa and EUR 2.2 million to Uganda.

In Somalia’s southern and central areas, food security has rapidly deteriorated and the country is on the brink of slipping into widespread famine. Finland will support humanitarian work in Somalia by EUR 5.5 million.

In Ethiopia, more than five million people will be in need of emergency assistance this year. Finland will channel EUR 755,000 to Ethiopia.

North-eastern parts of Nigeria are also at risk of famine; the UN estimates that 8.5 million people there are in need of humanitarian aid. Finland will channel EUR 2 million to Nigeria.

It is estimated that two thirds of the population of Yemen, that is, 18.8 million people are affected by the conflict and in need of humanitarian aid and protection. Nearly 3.3 million people suffer from starvation, 2.1 million of whom are children. Finland will channel EUR 1.5 million to Yemen.

At the same time, the humanitarian situation remains serious in the Middle East. Finland’s current assistance focuses on Syria and its neighbouring countries, which will be supported by a total of EUR 11.5 million. In Iraq, fight against ISIL, for instance, has increased the number of people in need of humanitarian aid to 11 million. Additionally, if the battle to reclaim Mosul continues, the number of internally displaced persons is expected to grow. Finland will channel a total of EUR 3.7 million to Iraq.

Other recipients of humanitarian aid from Finland are Afghanistan (EUR 1 million), Myanmar (EUR 500,000), North Korea (EUR 300,000), Central African Republic (EUR 575,000) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (EUR 300,000) and Ukraine (EUR 900,000).

EUR 38.4 million of the funding will be directed to civil society organisations’ country- and region-specific operations. The funding will be channelled through the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR and the World Food Programme WFP and via the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The following Finnish civil society organisations will also receive funding: Finnish Red Cross, Finn Church Aid, Fida International, World Vision Finland, Plan International Finland and Save the Children Finland.

Finland will grant EUR 23 million of the assistance in the form of core funding to UN agencies capable of flexible and rapid decisions on the allocation funding. Core funding will be channelled to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Inquiries: Claus Lindroos, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, tel. +358 295 351 234.

The Foreign Ministry's email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.