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Press Releases, 10/21/2015

Finland grants 4.2 million euros in humanitarian assistance for the crises in Yemen and the Central African Republic

Press release 230/2015
21 October 2015

In its autumn distribution of humanitarian assistance, Finland has granted 4.2 million euros to the work of international organisations for the crises in Yemen and the Central African Republic. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka decided about the matter on 21 October.

A total of EUR 3.2 million is granted for Yemen, of which EUR 2.5 million is awarded to the World Food Programme WFP and EUR 0.7 million via the Finnish Red Cross to the International Committee of the Red Cross. EUR 1 million is granted to the UN refugee agency UNHCR for regional management of the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic.

In Yemen, the need for assistance has increased further with the acceleration of violence last March. Of the country’s population, 21.1 million or 80 per cent is currently in need of humanitarian assistance. In particular, assistance is needed for the supply of food and water, health care and sanitation.

Also in the Central African Republic, the humanitarian situation is extremely serious and the country’s weakened security situation is reflected in the neighbouring countries. About 900,000 people have already been forced to leave their homes, fleeing either elsewhere in the country or as a refugees to neighbouring countries.

“Finland targets assistance to where the need is greatest. Millions of people have been forced to leave their homes because of the conflicts. They need food, medical care and shelter. This was clearly visible also at Za’atar refugee camp in Jordan, which I recently visited. Almost 80,000 Syrian refugees live in the camp,” Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Toivakka says.

The need for humanitarian assistance has never been as great before, and many of the sites are severely underfunded. Four crises of the most serious level are underway simultaneously: Yemen, Syria, Iraq and South Sudan. Finland’s humanitarian assistance saves lives, relieves suffering and alleviates human need, and maintains human dignity during crises.

The decision brings Finland’s humanitarian assistance so far this year to EUR 80 million. Last year a total of EUR 105.7 million was granted for humanitarian assistance. The support is paid from the appropriations for humanitarian assistance included in Finland’s development cooperation.

Inquiries: Director Claus Jerker Lindroos, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, tel. +358 40 132 1416 and Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to Minister Toivakka, tel. +358 40 552 8200.

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Updated 10/21/2015

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