In emergencies caused by natural disasters or wars, we work to secure sufficient nutrition, basic necessities, health care, clean water and accommodation for people and communities in the areas that have suffered the most. Washing facilities, toilets and waste management must also be arranged quickly. In addition, we aim to provide children with the opportunity to return to school as quickly as possible.
Small children, expectant mothers, senior citizens, and people suffering from various illnesses require special care. Individuals and families who have been forced to endure difficult ordeals are often in need of crisis support, especially in cases where they have been forced into exile as refugees. Healthy residents of the affected areas can take part in the planning and implementation of relief efforts.
Disaster relief alleviates acute emergencies but, in the long term, funds should also be allocated for the prevention of natural disasters and human conflicts, as well as for risk mitigation. Finn Church Aid and its partners have long focused on the development of disaster preparedness all over the world.
Where possible, a transition is made from disaster relief to rebuilding and the long-term development of communities.
The goal of Finn Church Aid is for the victims of major disasters to receive professional help in a swift and reliable manner.
Principles of humanitarian assistance
- The main priorities of all assistance efforts are to meet the urgent needs of the affected people and their right to receive assistance.
- Assistance is provided irrespective of ethnic background, religion or nationality, and completely free of any other kind of discrimination. The need for assistance is the only factor to consider when prioritising relief efforts.
- Relief work must not be used to further political or religious views.
- Our operations are independent of any foreign policies implemented by the government.
- We respect local cultures and customs.
- We use as many local resources as possible in our assistance work.
- The recipients of assistance must be able to take part in its planning, implementation, and evaluation.
- In addition to the provision of immediate disaster relief, people must be assisted to prepare for future disasters.
- We have a responsibility to our beneficiaries and donors.
- In our communications, we bring disaster victims forward in a respectful way without presenting them as hopeless recipients of assistance.
The largest funders of Finn Church Aid’s humanitarian efforts are the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) of the European Commission and Finn Church Aid’s own disaster fund. We work in close cooperation with our international umbrella organisation, ACT Alliance.
More information about our efforts can be obtained from the head of our humanitarian assistance unit.