UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator to Finland

Ministry for Foreign Affairs 5.11.2015 9.30
Press release 241/2015

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien will visit Finland on Tuesday 10 November and meet Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka.

The global humanitarian situation is alarming: the number of refugees is greater than ever after the Second World War and the repercussions are seen also in Finland.

"Effective and timely, needs-based humanitarian aid can markedly alleviate the impacts of humanitarian crises and catastrophes. Most often it is just the poor and other vulnerable groups that suffer from them the most. Even though we have had to make cuts in the development cooperation funding, measures have been taken to ensure that humanitarian aid remains at a considerable level," says Minister Lenita Toivakka 

O'Brien leads the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which is responsible for the coordination of humanitarian action conducted by the international community and the UN system. It also channels resources to assist in natural catastrophes and crisis situations.

Finland is among the key supporters of OCHA with an annual contribution of EUR 3.5 million.

Inquiries: Kimmo Laukkanen, Desk Officer, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, tel. +358 50 573 6715 and Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 40 552 8200.