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Development Policy Committee: Clear plan needed to increase development cooperation funds

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According to the Development Policy Committee, Finland’s development cooperation appropriations should be raised to 0.7 per cent of its gross national income (GNI) over the next two government terms. This will require a clear, long-term plan, extending beyond the current government term. As a member of the UN, the OECD and the EU, Finland has committed to this.

“Solving global problems also requires action from Finland. For this reason, we are in urgent need of a reliable plan to increase appropriations for development cooperation to 0.7 per cent. The next government must begin implementing the plan without delay,” stresses Member of Parliament Aila Paloniemi (Centre Party), Chair of the Development Policy Committee.

The budget proposal for next year would increase the exclusive ODA administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs by EUR 32.4 million, raising the level of funding from around 0.39 per cent to 0.41 per cent of Finland’s GNI. That said, the level of funding is expected to drop back below 0.4 per cent in the coming years.

The Development Policy Committee has previously criticised the imprecise language used in the Government Programme, according to which the target of 0.7 per cent will be achieved “in the long term”. The OECD has also asked Finland to implement a clear plan to rectify the situation.

According to the Development Policy Committee's estimates, achieving the level of 0.7 per cent of the GNI may require a one-time increase of EUR 200 million in 2020 and subsequent annual increases of EUR 128 million until 2028. The larger one-time increase in 2020 would compensate for cuts made to grants during the current government term, which amounted to EUR 330 million a year. In addition to the exclusive ODA administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, development policy investments in the form of loans and capital must remain at an annual level of around EUR 130 million.

The Development Policy Committee stressed that along with increasing appropriations, it is also necessary to look into the targeting of development cooperation. Finland has already committed to channelling at least 0.2 per cent of its GNI to the least developed countries. The current level is just 0.13 per cent.

In the Development Policy Committee’s view, implementing a financing model extending beyond the current government term requires a more long-term development policy strategy. The Development Policy Committee will prepare a proposal for establishing such a strategy in the spring. The priorities, results and verified effectiveness of development policy must be more clearly visible in the allocation of funds. Care must also be taken to ensure consistency in activities and in the use of different forms of financing.

The full statement from the Development Policy Committee is attached.

Inquiries: Aila Paloniemi, Chair of the Development Policy Committee, tel. +358 50 511 3067, aila.paloniemi@eduskunta.fi; Marikki Stocchetti, Secretary-General of the Development Policy Committee, tel. +358 50 525 8649, marikki.stocchetti@formin.fi

The Development Policy Committee is the only body monitoring and evaluating Finnish development cooperation and policy on a systematic and broad basis. The Government appoints the Committee for each government term. Its members include representatives of parliamentary parties, advocacy organisations, NGOs and universities in the UniPID network.

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