Press Release 239/2012
19 October 2012
By decision of Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted its humanitarian assistance funds for the last part of the year, totalling 9.46 million euros, to people suffering from the world’s crises. The humanitarian assistance granted by Finland in 2012 thus rises in total to more than 83 million euros. In the distribution of funds this autumn, the humanitarian assistance targets Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The purpose of humanitarian assistance is to save human lives and alleviate human suffering in crisis situations. Alongside the alleviation of acute distress, emphasis is placed on finding long-term solutions. Finland’s humanitarian assistance is mainly based on the joint appeal published each year by the UN agencies, but the autumn distribution of funds also takes into account other poorly financed and so-called forgotten crises.
One of the year’s worst humanitarian crises has arisen in the Sahel region, and an additional 1.3 million euros in assistance will be targeted at the region. The food crisis caused mainly by drought is exacerbated by the ongoing violence in North Mali, which has already driven more than 300,000 people from their homes. A total of 2 million euros will be targeted at the Democratic Republic of Congo and the surrounding Central Africa and the Great Lakes Region in the distribution of funds for the last part of the year, and also to the Horn of Africa, whose needs have remained significant despite the slight improvement in the situation. Support totalling 2.5 million euros is granted for the humanitarian crises in Liberia, South Sudan, Pakistan and Yemen, which have received little international attention. In response to the aggravation of refugees’ situation in the Middle East, 1 million euros will be channelled to Palestinian refugees and 0.4 million euros to Jordan for Syrian refugees.
WFP, the World Food Programme, is the channel for the greatest assistance (3.7 million euros) in the distribution of funds for the last part of the year. The other UN channels are United Nations Children's Fund – UNICEF (1.5 million euros) and the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA (1 million euros). The International Red Cross movement will receive 1.5 million euros in support through the Finnish Red Cross. Other channels of Finnish aid are Finn Church Aid and Fida International, which together will receive 1.7 million euros. With support from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Finnish organisations send personnel and materials to relief missions.
Additional information: Director Ulla-Maija Finskas, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance, mobile tel. +358 400 431 921 and Project Assistant Olivia Packalén-Peltola, tel. +358 9 1605 6345