The war in Ukraine is increasing hunger and malnutrition in other parts of the world. Finland allocates €26.1 million to national and international organizations for their humanitarian response in countries such as Somalia, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the majority of the world’s wheat, barley and edible oil came from the two countries. The shortage of cereals and the increase in prices caused by the war are particularly painful for developing countries whose food security depends on imports of these foods. For example, Somalia imports 90% of its cereals and half comes from Ukraine. The situation is aggravated by a long drought, which is why the country is on the verge of famine.
“Somalia faces the most serious situation for forty years: half of its population needs humanitarian aid. The support from Finland is used to distribute meals and cash assistance to those who need it most and food supplements to children and mothers, for example,” explains Lauratuulia LehtinenDirector of the Humanitarian Aid Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Besides Somalia, humanitarian aid is needed in many other countries, whose crises and protracted conflicts do not make the headlines. Following the funding decisions that have just been taken, Finnish civil society organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) , the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Food Program (WFP) and its local partners will provide humanitarian assistance to the following 11 countries and regions: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Sahel, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Of the total sum of 26.1 million euros, the majority is sent to Syria.
The situation in the crisis areas is hampered by the fact that the lack of cereals affects the work of organizations and agencies. For example, so far the WFP has purchased cereals for food aid in Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen from Ukraine. Half of the organization’s grain purchases for emergency relief come from Ukraine and Russia. Rising prices will also increase the costs of humanitarian aid. So fewer people can be helped with the same amount of money.
Finland’s (most recent) funding decisions complement the humanitarian funding it already granted earlier in the year. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland provided a total of €8.2 million in humanitarian funding to international humanitarian organizations operating in Ukraine. In addition, 3 million euros have been granted to help people in Afghanistan. In January, Finland granted a total of €27.5 million in core funding to UN agencies and the ICRC, enabling them to deliver assistance to those most in need and to plan their activities with flexibility.
In line with Finland’s humanitarian policy, funding may be granted to UN agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and seven Finnish organizations that meet the humanitarian partner requirements set by the EU .
– Lauratuulia Lehtinen, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Aid and Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 184
– E-mail addresses from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are in the format [email protected]