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News, 6/29/2017

Emergency relief to Syria, energy to Rwanda – results of development cooperation reviewed

Finland has been engaged in development cooperation starting from the 1960s. The work has produced plenty of results, providing millions of people in different parts of the world better opportunities in life.

The Foreign Ministry’s Kehitys–Utveckling magazine marks the centenary of Finland by dealing with a hundred results of development cooperation on its pages in the course of the year. The development results are examples of the outcomes reached through development cooperation funded by Finland. So far, half of the articles on the results have been published.

Activities funded by Finland are carried out, for instance by the European Union, such international organisations as the UN and the World Bank, civil society organisations and companies – in cooperation with partner countries. The following four results are examples of the achievements that have been reached through this cooperation.

Aid to millions of Syrians

Photo: UNHCR/Diego Ibarra Sánchez, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta
Photo: UNHCR/Diego Ibarra Sánchez, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta

The war in Syria has continued for over six years, leaving more than 10 million people internally displaced or as refugees abroad. Both refugees and the host communities are in need of support. Regional assistance is coordinated by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In 2015, food assistance was provided for 2.3 million people, 3.3. million people were given medical attention, and 586,000 children were provided with psychosocial support. Finland supports the work of the UN specialised agencies.

Stop to female genital mutilation

Photo: Meeri Koutaniemi, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta
Photo: Meeri Koutaniemi, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta

It is estimated that even as many as 300 million girls and women have been subjected to some sort of female genital mutilation (FGM). Finland directs development cooperation appropriations to CSOs such as Save the Children Finland, Plan International Finland, International Solidarity Foundation, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM) and World Vision, which are tackling FGM in several African countries. Change to the better is clear in areas where these CSOs are working: at best, over 90 per cent of girls have avoided undergoing FGM.

Clean energy to 100,000 households

Photo: Nuru Energy, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta
Photo: Nuru Energy, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta

In Africa, hundreds of millions live without electricity. However, the situation is improving all the time: for instance, Nuru Energy, which is a social enterprise, has managed to introduce clean solar energy to over 100,000 households in rural Rwanda within seven years. Nuru has been supported by Finland through the Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP).

Water and toilets to over four million people

Photo: Benti Ejeta, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta
Photo: Benti Ejeta, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta

The poorest people in the world suffer from the lack of decent toilets and clean water every day.  Poor hygiene makes people susceptible to diseases that may at worst be fatal. In Ethiopia, the problem has been tackled successfully through a Community-Led Accelerated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (COWASH) project developed by Finland.  Since 1994, close to 18,000 water points and 840,000 toilets have been built in the programme, benefiting approximately 4.2 million people in rural Ethiopia.

More information in Kehitys–Utveckling magazine (in Finnish)

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Updated 6/29/2017

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