Finland responds to Ukraine’s requests for support
Ukraine has requested support from Finland, particularly to meet the immediate and longer-term needs related to education, the environment and radiation safety. Finland will provide Ukraine with EUR 29 million in humanitarian assistance and development cooperation support.
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which has continued for more than a year, has caused immense destruction and suffering. The UN estimates that 17.5 million people, or nearly half of Ukraine’s population, are in need of humanitarian assistance.
To alleviate human suffering and help Ukraine in the midst of the war, Finland will allocate EUR 15 million to humanitarian assistance and EUR 14 million to development cooperation.
“We must combat war fatigue. To cope with this crisis, people need food, shelter and medication, and children need to get to school. We must also keep in mind that our support should help Ukraine recover from the war,” says Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.
Humanitarian assistance during wartime
EUR 5 million of Finland’s humanitarian assistance will be delivered through Ukraine Humanitarian Fund of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which directly supports food security, health services and emergency accommodation, and the work of local civil society organisations.
EUR 5.4 million will be delivered through two other important partners for Finland in Ukraine, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). WFP’s work focuses on food aid, which it has also distributed to civilians close to the front lines, and on cash assistance, especially to internally displaced people. The ICRC and the Ukrainian Red cross (URCS) provide assistance to meet basic needs, and offer technical and material support to repair destroyed infrastructure, and to maintain electricity and water supply and health services. The ICRC also helps to reunite families separated by war.
Some of the humanitarian assistance is channelled through Finnish civil society organisations. They also deliver emergency relief to Moldova, which hosts many Ukrainian refugees. The Finnish organisations prioritise food security, psychosocial support and education. Finland’s assistance focuses on assisting the most vulnerable people, especially persons with disabilities.
Support for school reforms, assessment of environmental damage and better radiation safety
Finland provides help to meet critical needs in the education sector through channels such as the World Bank's Public Expenditures for Administrative Capacity Endurance (PEACE) Project. For example, PEACE provides Ukraine with funds to pay teachers’ salaries so that children can continue to go to school despite the war. Finland has allocated EUR 14 million in additional support for the Project. The work carried out by Finnish civil society organisations and education providers also supports education during the crisis.
The Finnish National Agency for Education, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are currently planning the delivery of further assistance for the education sector for the 2024–2027 period.
War causes environmental damage which affects health, wellbeing, livelihoods and ecosystems. Ukraine has requested support for assessing the environmental damage caused by the war, for strengthening the capacity of the authorities and for reforming legislation. The Finnish Ministry of the Environment is preparing cooperation to provide direct and long-term support for the Ukrainian environmental sector.
Military operations increase the risk of nuclear emergencies and accidents. Finland's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) is planning cooperation with their colleagues in Ukraine in the field of radiation and nuclear safety to broaden the expertise of the Ukrainian radiation and nuclear safety authorities.
The EUR 29 million delivered now is part of the additional financing of EUR 70 million which the Government allocated to help Ukraine in 2022. In addition to this, EUR 37 million has been reserved for 2023 for supporting Ukraine through development cooperation. This will make Ukraine Finland’s biggest partner nation in development cooperation.
- Humanitarian assistance:
- Lauratuulia Lehtinen, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 46 921 2030
- Development cooperation:
- Sirpa Oksanen, Director, Unit for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 414 5349
- Emmi Mäkelä, Special Adviser to Minister Skinnari, tel. +358 50 473 6694
- Ministry of Education and Culture:
- Jaana Palojärvi, Director, Secretariat for International Affairs, tel. +358 40 511 6897
- Ministry of the Environment:
- Ismo Tiainen, Director General, Department of Administration and International Affairs, tel. +358 295 250 294
- Radiation and nuclear safety:
- Aapo Tanskanen, Principal Advisor, Department for Expert Services – International Cooperation, Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, tel. +358 40 720 2786