Press Release 57/2014
12 March 2014
Finland is donating 44.4 million euros in humanitarian aid for the world’s worst crises. The aid, granted by decision of Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto on 12 March, is directed to acute emergency situations in Syria and neighbouring areas, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Human suffering will also be alleviated in the countries where there are protracted crisis situations, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan. Finland’s support is given through UN agencies and Finnish organizations. They ensure on site that the aid reaches its destination.
“In the absence of a political solution to the Syrian crisis, the humanitarian consequences worsen by the day, and almost a quarter of a million Syrians are still under siege without the help they need,” Development Minister Haavisto says.
“Despite this, humanitarian workers are able on a daily basis to distribute food, water, vaccines and medications to those in need. Healthy children are born in the midst of war, human lives are saved and school-going continues thanks to humanitarian organizations.” More than 9 million people are in need of emergency assistance in Syria and more than 2.5 million Syrians have fled the crisis to neighbouring countries.
The outbreak of violence and chaos in the Central African Republic has led to a major humanitarian catastrophe. Owing to the poor security situation, the civilian population is hiding in the jungle, which makes the delivery of aid extremely difficult. Aid agencies have, however, found ways to provide assistance even outside of Bangui. The 2.8 million euros in support given by Finland will be used to deliver food and health services to those in dire need and to continue education amidst the violence for children in a particularly vulnerable position.
The aid given by Finland is largely based on the UN consolidated appeal for emergency assistance, which in 2014 is an unusually large amount, over 9 billion euros. The crisis in Syria accounts for more than half of this amount. A total of 81 million people in different parts of the world are in need of humanitarian aid.
The Finnish organizations through which the aid is provided are the Finnish Red Cross, Finn Church Aid, FIDA International, World Vision Finland and Save the Children. For example, thanks to Finland’s funding, World Vision can ease the daily life of refugees with disabilities in Kenya and Uganda by supplying them with aids.
Additional information: Milma Kettunen, Press Attaché to Minister Haavisto, mobile tel. +358 40 522 9869, and Anna Gebremedhin, Head of the Unit for Humanitarian Assistance, mobile tel. +358 40 583 0149, firstname.lastname@example.org