Press Releases, 7/2/2014
Finland and Mexico improve consideration for the environment in humanitarian assistance
Press release 155/2014
2 July 2014
Finland and Mexico served as Co-chairs of the Good Humanitarian Donorshipr (GHD) group for the period 2013–2014. During their co-chairmanship, the countries stressed the links between the environment and humanitarian assistance.
“Although environmental issues, such as conflicts concerning natural resources or natural disasters, may be the cause of humanitarian crises, the environmental perspective is still seldom considered in humanitarian aid,” says Anna Gebremedhin, Head of the Unit for Humanitarian Assistance at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Despite the tools, policies, and guidelines in use, humanitarian assistance, such as refugee camps, can be harmful to the environment. If environmental risks are not taken into account or their assessment is postponed to a later date, at the same time the recovery process may be impeded, environmental problems may be compounded and the proneness to risk and vulnerability may be aggravated.
“By monitoring and assessing the policies and practices of donors, we can promote better consideration of the environment in humanitarian assistance,” Gebremedhin explains.
Gebremedhin, together with Mexico, co-chaired the High-Level Meeting of the GHD group in New York last week.
Aside from the environmental perspective, during Finland’s and Mexico’s co-chairmanship the group has also developed cooperation between the private and public sectors and contributed to the Humanitarian Summit to be held in 2016.
The group promotes the implementation of the good humanitarian donorship principles adopted in Stockholm in 2003, and develops and enhances donor cooperation. The group currently has 41 members.
Additional information: Kaisa Heikkilä, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile tel. +358 40 352 0739