Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA)Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland logo
provides  assistance for developing countries and
humanitarian assistance
where needed. Finland’s development policy is focused on
achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),
which aim at eradicating extreme poverty.
As the set timeframe for the MDGs is approaching
the end, Finland is an
active participant in preparing the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

Finland’s Development Policy has four areas of emphasis:
•  A democratic and accountable society that promotes human rights.
•  An inclusive green economy that promotes employment.
•  Sustainable natural resources management and environmental protection.
•  Human development.

Integrated in the above mentioned focus areas, three crosscutting objectives should be a part of all development activities: gender equality, climate sustainability and reduction of inequality. In line with the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Finland is strongly committed in human rights-based development policy.

Finnish MFA has appropriated a total of 1,102.6 million euros in 2014 (0.55 % of GNI per capita) for development cooperation and humanitarian assistance, of which approximately 10 % is directed to development cooperation through NGOs, and another 10 % for humanitarian assistance. Therefore, most of the funds are channeled bilaterally to long-term partner countries, and multilaterally through different institutions (United Nations’ agencies and development finance institutions) as well as EU cooperation.

However, the MFA considers the work of NGOs as complementing the public bilateral and multilateral development cooperation. NGOs have direct contacts between the civil societies and the poorest people in a variety of countries, thus having important networks in order to reach the most vulnerable people. Furthermore, geographical focus areas of the NGOs may differ from the MFA’s bilateral focus countries complementing the given assistance also from this perspective. In order to ensure the continuity of cooperation between the MFA and Finnish NGOs, the Ministry has made partnership agreements with 16 Finnish NGOs. The agreements entitle the partner NGOs to framework funding for their development programmes instead of project specific funding targeted to non-partner actors. Finn Church Aid (FCA) is one of the MFA partner NGOs having the partnership agreement since 2003.

FCA’s development programme in the MFA funding framework

Finnish MFA is the single largest donor for FCA. FCA is currently implementing a two-year plan (2013–2014) of our development programme consisting of 16 Country Programmes: Liberia, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Mozambique, South Sudan, Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia, Haiti, Central America [incl. Guatemala and Honduras], Occupied Palestinian Territories, Jordan and Lebanon. The framework also includes Communications and Advocacy components. Country Programmes consist of projects on each of FCA’s three strategic themes: Right to Education, Right to Livelihood and Right to Peace. Detailed information on Country Programmes, included projects and use of funds can be found in the “Partnerships Agreement Annual Report”.

FCA receives 8.1 million euros from the MFA for the development programme in 2014. The Country Programmes in the MFA framework are co-financed with FCA’s own funds. The MFA allocates a maximum of 85 per cent of the total annual expenses of the Programmes and FCA co-finances at least 15 per cent of the annual expenses. Humanitarian assistance is not included in the MFA framework, as the funding is applied separately from the MFA’s Unit for Humanitarian Assistance each year.

MFA’s humanitarian funding

MFA is one of the largest donors for FCA’s humanitarian response. Finland’s Humanitarian Policy, which is complemented by the Guideline Concerning Humanitarian Assistance and the Use of Funding Granted by MFA, defines the key principles, objectives, channels and criteria of MFA’s humanitarian funding.

UN consolidated appeals and flash appeals form the basis for MFA to determine the priority humanitarian funding needs of different countries and sectors. MFA’s humanitarian funding is channelled through UN organisations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and those Finnish NGOs that have the partner status of the European Commission Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO). As a donor, MFA does not have any bilateral humanitarian assistance programmes and neither purchases any relief materials of its own. MFA’s support is focused on sectors with the greatest impact on saving lives and protecting livelihoods. These sectors include, but are not limited to, FCA’s sectors of focus in emergency response, Education in Emergencies and Emergency Livelihoods.

MFA allocates humanitarian funding to Finnish NGOs once a year. In addition, MFA makes funding decisions concerning sudden-onset crises throughout the year as necessary.

In 2015, MFA allocated a total of 4.6 million euros to FCA’s and its partner organisation’s humanitarian operations implemented in South Sudan, Somalia, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Jordan, Myanmar, Uganda and Nepal.