Finland joins the the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa

Ministry for Foreign Affairs 12.11.2015 15.35
Press release 249/2015

The Valletta Summit agreed about the establishment of an EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa at the Valletta Summit on Thursday.

The Trust Fund aims to address the root causes of migration, such as poverty and conflicts in Africa. It will also be used to support the Action Plan to be adopted at the Summit.

Finland will contribute EUR 5 million to the Emergency Trust Fund. EUR 3 million of that sum will be directed to the Horn of Africa, EUR 1 million to the Sahel region, and EUR 1 million to the North of Africa.

The Commission-managed instruments amount to EUR 1.8 billion and EU Member States will support the Trust Fund also through direct contributions.

"Finland underlines the importance of promoting stability in Africa and addressing the root causes of migration. It is important to develop the economies, promote job-creation and improve security," emphasizes Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka.

Ambassador Pertti Anttinen from the Foreign Ministry represented Finland in the Trust Fund's Strategic Board, which convened for its first meeting in connection with the Summit.

Finland's development cooperation in the operational area of the Trust Fund has been EUR 83 million on average in the recent years. Finland addresses the root causes of migration in Africa in many ways through development cooperation.

Examples of Finland's activities in the migrants' main countries of origin include support to the Joint Health and Nutrition Programme in Somalia, and to a health sector project of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which engages health professionals of Somali diaspora in Finland to train local health workers. Finland is also launching a project relating to cooperation in the education sector in Eritrea, which is one of the Mediterranean refugees' main countries of origin. 

In North Africa and the Middle East, support is directed to democracy and human rights projects, which focus on women's rights, in particular. These projects include support to IOM's activities in North Africa. Finland also supports dialogues that try to alleviate tensions and seek solutions to topical challenges like migration.

Inquiries: Pertti Anttinen, Ambassador, Department for Africa and the Middle East, tel. +358 29 5351595 or +358 50 9112008, and Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, tel. +358 40 552 8200.