Core funding to international humanitarian organisations is a rapid and effective way to respond to sudden-onset natural disasters and protracted crises. Finland’s 27.5-million-euro funding will help UN agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC to operate in areas where people need help, and to plan their operations flexibly.
Wars, climate change, food insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic are causing crises around the world. The UN estimates that more than 270 million people in at least 63 countries will need some form of humanitarian assistance this year. There is a dire and urgent need for humanitarian funding.
“The purpose of humanitarian assistance is to save lives, which means speed is of essence. The core funding granted early this year allows organisations to flexibly channel funding to where it is most needed,” says Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade.
In January, Finland provided core funding to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund CERF (EUR 8 million), the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR (EUR 7 million), the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East UNRWA (EUR 5 million), the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC (EUR 3 million) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA (EUR 2.5 million). Finland is also preparing core funding for the World Food Programme WFP and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR.
Core funding based on multi-annual agreements accounts for more than 40 per cent of Finland’s humanitarian assistance. It is important to have flexible funding available to be able to respond to sudden-onset emergencies such as natural disasters or health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Core funding also allows humanitarian organisations to address underfunded emergencies in countries suffering from a protracted crisis such as war or armed conflict. Multiannual financing agreements help humanitarian organisations to plan their operations more proactively and efficiently.
With the core funding provided by Finland and other donors in 2021, CERF alone supported humanitarian work in 33 countries. UNICEF, the United Nations children’s Fund, was able to provide special assistance to children with disabilities, and the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA strengthened its response to prevention of gender-based violence and to support survivors.
Finland advocates for flexible humanitarian funding also in its role as co-chair of the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) initiative in 2021–2023.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is currently preparing funding decisions also for country-specific and regional and thematic humanitarian assistance to be provided through UN organisations, the International Movement of Red Cross and Finnish civil society organisations. Information on these decisions will be provided in due course.
Lauratuulia Lehtinen, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 46 921 2030
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