Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: Additional funding of 22.5 million euros for civil society organisations’ development cooperation as part of the implementation of the Government Programme


By decision of Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted 22.5 million euros for Finnish civil society organisations’ (CSOs) development cooperation programmes in Africa for 2020–2021.

“The Government's commitment to increase funding for development cooperation by CSOs is important,” says Minister Skinnari. "This additional funding is allocated to programmes in Africa that address climate change, minority rights, gender equality and strengthening of civil societies. These themes are very topical and Finnish CSOs are well-positioned to contribute to them.”

The following 17 Finnish CSOs receive additional funding in this call for applications: Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), Fida International, Fingo, Finn Church Aid, Save the Children Finland, Plan International Finland, Fairtrade Finland, Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (Felm), Finnish Red Cross, World Vision Finland, Operation a Day’s Work Finland (ODW Finland), Disability Partnership Finland, WWF Finland, Abilis Foundation, Finnish NGO Foundation for Human Rights KIOS, and Siemenpuu Foundation. These organisations receive programme support from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The additional funding will strengthen their current development cooperation programmes in Africa.

Organisations applied for additional funding especially for their programmes in the least developed countries. The countries of operation are mainly located in East Africa and include Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Somalia, in particular. The human rights-based approach is strongly visible in their work. Common themes in the programmes are sexual and reproductive health rights and services, the rights of persons with disabilities, and minorities or other persons or groups in situations of vulnerability. Organisations also develop decent work, livelihoods, vocational training, education and basic services. The CSO programmes supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are implemented in cooperation with local CSOs and other local partners.

“We need to invest in the work done by civil society organisations. Organisations are at the forefront in defending the civic space and in promoting well-functioning societies and human rights. For the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, civil society organisations are important partners,” says Minister Skinnari.

The Foreign Ministry supports Finnish CSOs’ development cooperation activities mainly through programme-based funding. The Ministry provides also other forms of discretionary government transfers to Finnish CSOs.


Kirsi Airio, Special Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 574 1729

Riina-Riikka Heikka, Director, Unit for Civil Society, Department for Development Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 204

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


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