Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: In the first half of 2021, Finland grants nearly EUR 70 million in humanitarian assistance to strengthen food security, support refugees and promote the rights of vulnerable people


More than 200 million people across the globe need humanitarian assistance due to conflicts, natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. The provision of humanitarian assistance is one of the most concrete ways of responding to crises and disasters. Finland grants a total of EUR 69.6 million to humanitarian work carried out by the UN organizations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and Finnish civil society organisations.

In its humanitarian action, Finland emphasises the rights of women and girls, disability inclusion, and school meals.

The majority of the funding now granted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be channelled to UN organizations. Through its core funding, Finland supports food security (EUR 8 million to the World Food Programme, WFP); emergency shelters for refugees and their protection and education (EUR 7 million to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, and EUR 5 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA); and the coordination of humanitarian action (EUR 2.5 million to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA). In addition, funding will be used to respond to sudden disasters and underfunded protracted crises (EUR 8 million to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, CERF) and to disaster risk reduction (EUR 1 million to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR).

“The coronavirus pandemic has further accentuated the importance of predictable and flexible humanitarian funding. The best way to ensure rapid and timely delivery of assistance in sudden disasters is to decide on funding early in the year,” stresses Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.

Finland grants not only core funding but also funding for the regional and thematic work conducted by UN agencies. WFP will use Finland’s funding to improve food security in the Sahel and Afghanistan (EUR 4 million) and to strengthen the food security of persons with disabilities (EUR 1 million); UNHCR will support refugees in South Sudan and its neighbouring countries (EUR 2 million), Tigray in Ethiopia (EUR 2 million) and Syria and its neighbouring areas (EUR 5 million); and UNFPA will improve the reproductive health services for women and girls in Syria (EUR 2 million).

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an important humanitarian partner for Finland. The EUR 13 million now granted to it will be distributed between core funding (EUR 3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC) and thematic programmes as follows: ICRC’s emergency assistance to Yemen (EUR 2.7 million), South Sudan (EUR 2 million), Burkina Faso (EUR 1.2 million), Afghanistan (EUR 1 million) and Ukraine (EUR 0.8 million) as well as work by the Red Crescent in Syria (EUR 1.1 million).These programmes will strengthen the protection, health services, food security and water supply of the most vulnerable people.

EUR 10.2 million is granted to humanitarian work by Finnish civil society organisations. The projects will be implemented by Fida International, Finn Church Aid, Finnish Refugee Council, Save the Children Finland, Plan International Finland, Finnish Red Cross and World Vision Finland.

Civil society organisations’ projects support, for example, water supply and sanitation, the education of persons with disabilities, as well as child protection, food security and safe reopening of schools. Civil society organisations have an important role in supporting local humanitarian actors and strengthening their capacity to respond to crises. Besides several African countries, this year the projects of Finnish civil society organisations will be supported in Yemen, Myanmar and North Korea as well.

Additionally, Finland funds the EU’s humanitarian assistance through its contribution to the EU budget. The European Union, together with its Member States, is the world's largest donor of humanitarian assistance.


Lauratuulia Lehtinen, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Policy and Assistance, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 46 921 2030.

The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi



About Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet
Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet
Kanavakatu 3 C, PL 481
00023 Valtioneuvosto

0295 350 000http://um.fi

Subscribe to releases from Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

Subscribe to all the latest releases from Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Latest releases from Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: Reviews by Finnish missions abroad show that innovative solutions to fight COVID-19 put Finland in the spotlight in the world media in 202031.3.2021 12:08:23 EEST | Press release

According to Finland in the World Media, an annual survey commissioned by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the innovative management of the coronavirus pandemic was the most important theme connected to Finland last year. Other news in the world media highlighted the strengths of Finland’s country image: equality, high-quality education system and stable society. The review estimates that Finland’s general reputation has further improved in foreign media.

UM: Utrikesrepresentationens översikt: den innovativa hanteringen av coronapandemin är det synligaste Finlandstemat i utländska medier 202031.3.2021 12:05:02 EEST | Tiedote

Enligt utrikesministeriets översikt Finland i utländska medier var den innovativa skötseln av coronapandemin det främsta temat som associerades med Finland i fjol. Vid sidan av coronanyheterna lyfte man fram de starka sidorna i Finlandsbilden: jämställdheten, det högtstående utbildningssystemet och vårt stabila samhälle. Översikten bedömer att Finlands anseende har blivit positivare i utländska medier.

In our pressroom you can read all our latest releases, find our press contacts, images, documents and other relevant information about us.

Visit our pressroom