Finland’s assistance package includes additional support to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Nearly six million Palestinian refugees are in a dire humanitarian situation. Part of Finland’s additional support will be channelled to an operation in Lebanon, where the situation of Palestinian refugees is particularly difficult.
In the Middle East, Finland will be supporting a project of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to restore damaged water supply facilities in Syria. The project will facilitate access to clean drinking water in eight large urban areas.
In addition, assistance will be channelled to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) that enables UN specialised agencies to respond quickly to sudden crises and to finance otherwise underfunded crises.
These funding decisions will raise Finland’s humanitarian assistance in 2022 to around EUR 120 million.
In Afghanistan, for example, the humanitarian situation has grown worse. The UN estimates that nearly 19 million people, or half of the Afghan population, are suffering from acute food insecurity. Finland grants support to the World Food Programme (WFP) to alleviate the situation.
“Humanitarian assistance is always based on need. That is why we must not forget the crises and the people who are not in the news daily,” says Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.
The Rohingya refugee crisis, too, continues. Finland grants support to an operation of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) that focuses on protecting Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Myanmar and providing them with emergency shelters and other relief materials. The UNHCR prioritises helping the most vulnerable groups, and it works to assist persons with disabilities and to reduce the risk of sexual violence, among other efforts.
Most of the people who need humanitarian assistance are living amid crises that have gone on for years. Altogether 325 million people in 69 countries need assistance. Finland is granting EUR 13.6 million in humanitarian assistance to help especially the most vulnerable people.
Many of the crisis areas that are already struggling need even more assistance this year because of climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Lauratuulia Lehtinen, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 46 921 2030
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