Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: Finland supports the World Health Organization in responding to the COVID-19 virus epidemic

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Finland will contribute one million euros to the World Health Organization (WHO) for its work in developing countries to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. WHO will provide expert and material assistance especially to countries with a poor capacity to fight the epidemic.

“The aim is to slow down the spread of the virus to developing countries and to help states with weaker health systems in detecting the virus, investigating cases, and treating and isolating patients. Investment in strengthening preparedness will have a longer-term impact in that it will help prevent also other communicable diseases,” says Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.

According to the most recent information published by WHO, the COVID-19 virus has spread to over a hundred countries and new confirmed cases occur every day. In its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP), published in February, WHO estimates that approximately USD 675 million should be mobilised globally for the period from 1 February to 30 April 2020.

WHO has stressed that enough personal protective equipment (PPE) must be available especially for healthcare professionals. Additionally, in efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus, special attention must be paid to the training of healthcare professionals to make sure that they can take samples from patients suffering from respiratory infections and treat those infected by the virus.

In terms of preparedness, it is essential to invest in the timely, regular and transparent provision of information by countries to their citizens and to WHO, for example, on the COVID-19 virus situation in their country. One of the key objectives is to accelerate research and development and the introduction of innovations, including vaccine development, in which WHO cooperates with researchers, the pharmaceutical industry and financiers.

Inquiries:  Kirsi Airio, Special Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 50 574 1729, and Pasi Pöysäri, Director, Unit for Sustainable Development and Climate Policy, tel. +358 50 309 8202

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

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