Press Release 137/2013
12 June 2013
Eighty per cent of Finns take a positive view of development cooperation according to a survey carried out by Taloustutkimus Oy. Thirty-one per cent of the population now considers development cooperation very important. The corresponding figure a year ago was 28 per cent. Similarly, the share considering development cooperation to be of minor importance or taking an indifferent view has fallen.
The wish to help is seen in Finns’ attitudes despite the economic downturn. The share in favour of increasing appropriations for development cooperation is ten percentage points higher than that in favour of reducing it, and 62 per cent would keep appropriations at their present level. The share of those in favour of an increase has risen by five percentage points from last year.
The survey also highlights Finns’ need for information: a great many do not know the positive changes associated with development. For instance, 68 per cent of Finns believe that poverty has increased although in reality, the number living in extreme poverty has fallen by half since 1990. Also, doubts concerning the effectiveness and efficiency of development cooperation have gradually increased in recent years.
“I’m happy about Finns’ firm support for development cooperation. The survey shows, however, that we must communicate what types of good results are achieved through development cooperation better than we have before. For example, in Ethiopia more than 5,000 wells have been built thanks to Finland’s development cooperation over the last five years. Now more than 1.2 million Ethiopians have access to clean drinking and household water. A Finnish taxpayer has paid, on average, 0.36 euros per year for this Ethiopian programme,” says Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala.
Overall, this year 1,118 million euros is reserved in the State budget for public development cooperation. This sum is about 206 euros per inhabitant.
For the survey, Taloustutkimus Oy interviewed a thousand Finns over the age of 15 years in May. The survey was commissioned by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has investigated the attitudes about development cooperation by means of corresponding interview surveys on a regular basis since the 1990s.
Additional information: Research Manager Juho Rahkonen, Taloustutkimus Oy, mobile tel. +358 50 375 9008, email@example.com, and Milma Kettunen, Press Attaché to Minister Heidi Hautala, mobile tel. +358 40 522 9869, firstname.lastname@example.org