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Press Releases, 10/17/2014

Finland intensifies its efforts to stop Ebola 

Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja has appointed Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Tiina Jortikka-Laitinen as the Minister’s special representative for the work against Ebola. She starts in her new post immediately. Jortikka-Laitinen has previously served, for instance, as the Ambassador of Finland in Tunisia and as Ambassador in the Dialogue among Civilizations process.

The special representative’s task is to represent Finland and participate in the international work to combat Ebola. Her work is supported by an extensive Ebola crisis team in the Finnish State Administration led by Director-General Veli-Mikko Niemi of the Department for Promotion of Welfare and Health at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. He is assisted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defence and other administrative sectors, such as the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi. Issues, measures and monitoring pertaining to Ebola are also discussed between the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Finland’s financial contribution to work against Ebola is being increased substantially. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is preparing a support package of EUR 7.1 million to the UN Ebola trust fund set up to help UN agencies under the leadership of WHO to fight the spread of the disease in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Combined with the support already given and projected through humanitarian assistance, Finland’s total contribution to work against Ebola rises to about 10 million euros.

Among European countries, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands have also appointed their own special representatives earlier this week. Foreign Minister Tuomioja has discussed the fight against Ebola on the phone with the Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany and Secretary of State John Kerry of the USA.

More information about the Ebola virus on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Additional information: Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Tiina Jortikka-Laitinen, tel. +358 295 351 829, Deputy Director General Kari Alanko, tel. +358 295 351 560, and Special Adviser to the Foreign Minister Tarja Kantola, mobile tel. +358 40 590 4119

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Updated 10/17/2014

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