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Home NATIONALFinland grants EUR 13.5 million humanitarian aid in December
Thu, 18 Dec, 2014 01:39:20 AM
FTimes Report, Dec. 18
Development Minister Sirpa Paatero. File Photo Lehtikuva.
Finland has granted 13.5 million euros to long-lasting and underfunded crises, said an official press release on Wednesday.
The decision was taken in a meeting with Development Minister Sirpa Paatero in the chair on Wednesday.
The support is awarded to Finn Church Aid and UN organizations. The decision brings Finland's humanitarian assistance this year to 105.7 million euros. This is a record-high amount for Finland, which indicates the extent of the world's crises.
Most of the support is channelled through the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). 
The largest share of the support, a total of 6.8 million euros, is focused on long-lasting crises in Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, as well as in Cameroon, which is responding to the assistance needs of people who have fled from the Central African Republic and Nigeria. 
Finland also increases its assistance to WFP and Finn Church Aid, for efforts against Ebola, by 1.2 million euros.
Finland gives 3 million euros of additional funding to the UN refugee agency UNHCR for the crisis in Syria. This increases the humanitarian assistance given for the crisis in Syria this year to a total of 14.15 million euros. 
The funding is directed to Turkey, which has received 1.6 million refugees from Syria during the civil war already in its fourth year.
One million euros is granted to the UN refugee agency UNHCR for the humanitarian crisis in Iraq. According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the country has more than 2 million internally displaced persons who are difficult to reach and who especially need shelter as winter approaches.
“This year, the need for humanitarian assistance has been unprecedentedly great. More people than ever have had to flee because of conflicts and violence, forced to leave their homes and livelihood and to rely on external assistance to survive. Finland has responded to the humanitarian needs of these people by increasing its humanitarian assistance,” said the Development Minister Sirpa Paatero.
Last year Finland granted a total of 96.3 million euros in humanitarian assistance. This year, the largest target of humanitarian assistance has been the Syrian crisis, with a share of 14.15 million euros. The next greatest amounts of support have been channelled to the crises in South Sudan (8.8 million euros), Somalia (8.2 million euros) and the Central African Republic (7.75 million euros). The support is paid from the appropriations for humanitarian assistance included in Finland's development cooperation.
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