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World: Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Virolainen: Finland grants EUR 5.45 million to alleviate crises in Africa and increases funding for the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund

Source: Government of Finland
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Finland, Niger, South Sudan, World

According to the recently published Global Humanitarian Overview, the estimated total need of humanitarian assistance in 2019 amounts to EUR 22 billion.

This means that 132 million people in approximately 40 countries are in need of emergency relief, the majority of them in Africa and the Middle East.

The world’s worst humanitarian crisis is currently in Yemen, but the situation is extremely difficult also in Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Sudan.

"Unfortunately, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance remains high, mainly because of protracted conflicts. Finland's aim is to continue effective and timely provision of support to people in distress even in difficult conditions," Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen says.

In its funding decisions made towards the end of 2018, Finland paid special attention to Africa. Through these decisions, Finland supported the work of the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by EUR 2 million, in South Sudan by EUR 1.5 million, and in Nigeria by EUR 1 million. Additionally, Finland granted EUR 950,000 to Ethiopia through the Red Cross. These countries are all suffering from internal and regional conflicts, and emergency relief is needed to save lives. Finland's support is needed because the large humanitarian assistance operations in Africa are under-funded and because Finland's funding decisions made earlier in the year focus on crises in the Middle East, above all on Yemen and Syria. Earlier this year, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs decided to grant EUR 100,000 to the Red Cross for it to be able to mobilise an emergency unit to Indonesia following the earthquake that hit the Sulawesi province.

READ:  Sudan: Sudan: South Sudanese Refugee Response - 2018 Year-end Funding Allocation Report

In 2018, Finland's humanitarian assistance was EUR 72.5 million in total, of which the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR received the most support (EUR 20 million) while the Syria crisis was the biggest regional recipient of assistance (EUR 12.6 million). Finland's support for humanitarian assistance work in Yemen has been EUR three million this year.

The majority of the funding decisions for 2019 will be prepared at the beginning of the year. At the Annual CERF High-level Pledging Event in New York on 7 December, Finland announced that it will raise its funding for the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) by one million euros next year, after which the support will be EUR 8 million. CERF is a fund, which enables the provision of emergency response in the event of an urgent crisis and in cases where an operation is suffering from serious lack of funding. By way of example, this year CERF has allocated USD 50 million to humanitarian action in Yemen.

For more detailed information, please read about the recipients of Finland's humanitarian assistance in 2018: https://um.fi/documents/35732/0/humanitaarinen+apu+2018+%282%29.pdf/24c88d2e-a294-24a9-5425-712a20cbeb6b

Inquiries: Claus Jerker Lindroos, Director, tel. +358 295 351 234, and Pilvi Taipale, Desk Officer, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, +358 295 350 322

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

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