Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: Project support granted for 2021–2024: Projects by Finnish civil society organisations support civil societies in developing countries


The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 25 million in project support to Finnish civil society organisations (CSOs), which will conduct development cooperation projects in developing countries in 2021–2024. Project support was granted to 36 CSOs for the implementation of 62 projects in 28 different countries.

Project support is granted to Finnish small and medium-sized organisations for projects that are carried out in collaboration with local partners in developing countries. The projects’ ultimate goal is poverty eradication and reduction of inequality.

”Strengthening civil societies is a central element of Finland’s development policy, says Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.

“CSOs’ partnerships with local actors strengthen global accountability and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals.”

By the end of its recent call for proposals in March, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs had received 115 applications from 65 CSOs. In this application round, the decision-making process was more efficient than before as applicants were required to present their materials in a more compact form. The total amount of funding applied for was approximately EUR 47 million. The EUR 25 million granted in 2020 is EUR 7 million more than was granted in the previous round in 2018. The projects will be carried out in 2021–2024.

Projects to be carried out in Africa will receive 61 per cent of the granted support, while 65 per cent will be channelled to projects in the least developed countries. The largest amount of support in euros will be allocated to projects to be implemented in Tanzania, Nepal, Ethiopia and Kenya, but projects will be carried out in 28 countries in all.

The majority of the support will be channelled to promote the first and third priority of Finland's development policy – strengthening the status and rights of women and girls and education, well-functioning societies and democracy. In the goals of the supported projects, emphasis is placed on, for example, sexual and reproductive health, prevention of violence against women, and the promotion of the rights and the education of children and youth. Matters that are strongly supported through the projects include non-discrimination, especially the promotion of the rights of minorities and people with disabilities by providing opportunities for education and by improving access to basic services.

Many of the projects that are funded aim to prevent and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example by promoting the availability of healthcare services or by improving the livelihoods of vulnerable people.

Project support is granted in line with the goals of the Government Report on Development Policy and the Guidelines for Civil Society in Development Policy. Wide-ranging cooperation between civil society operators in Finland and developing countries support the structures of civil society, create possibilities to exert influence, support citizen participation and advance the realisation of human rights.

List of projects to which support was granted in the call for proposals in 2020 (PDF)

Inquiries: Tiina Kajakoski, Deputy Director of Unit, Unit for Civil Society, Department for Development Policy, tel. 358 295 351 570 

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



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