Press release 226/2017
19 December 2017
Finland will assist areas suffering from conflicts and drought in Yemen, Northeast Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.
“The focus in our aid decisions towards the end of the year is on crises where the need is currently particularly great and aid is needed urgently”, says Kai Mykkänen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development.
Millions of people in Yemen, which suffers from war, depend on international aid. Almost one million people have caught cholera after last spring, and the country now faces the worst famine for decades. Finland will direct a total of EUR 2.5 million to Yemen through the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR (EUR 1.5 million) and the World Food Programme WFP (EUR 1 million).
More aid will also be granted for the acute crises in Africa. Finland will support Northeast Nigeria with EUR 1.5 million through the UNHCR. In addition, EUR 750,000 will be directed to Ethiopia through the WFP and EUR 1 million to the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Congo, as many as 3.8 million people have had to flee from conflicts and currently the country has one of the fastest growing humanitarian crises in the world.
In addition, Finland will grant EUR 8 million of general aid for the WFP. The WFP can flexibly decide on allocating general aid, which often improves the cost-efficiency and speed of the aid.
With the new aid, the amount of humanitarian aid that Finland has granted in 2017 will total EUR 81.3 million. Approximately one third of this is general aid, one third directed to humanitarian action in the Middle East and slightly less than one third to Africa. In addition, Finland has supported humanitarian work in Afghanistan, Myanmar, North Korea and Ukraine.
Among other things, in thematic issues, Finland has hosted a conference on aid to Syria and promoted the position of the disabled in humanitarian action and the development of flexible forms of funding during this year.
The humanitarian situation in the world has deteriorated during 2017. According to the UN’s recent estimates, 136 million people are now in need of humanitarian aid and protection. In spite of the ever-growing need, more aid has been delivered this year than ever before, which has saved millions of lives in different parts of the world.
Inquiries: Director Claus Lindroos, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, tel. +358 295 351 234, ClausJerker.Lindroos@formin.fi