There is strong political and financial commitment for global sexual and reproductive health and family planning (SRH/FP) in the Finnish development policy and cooperation. Official Development Assistance (ODA) has risen in recent years and is expected to rise during the coming years, according to the Finnish Governmental Programme. Finland remains committed to raise its ODA to 0.7% of GNI. In 2020, Finnish ODA amounted to € 1 million, equivalent to 0.45% of Finland’s GNI.
Finland rapidly noted the significant negative impact of the COVID-19 crises on the rights of women and girls, and especially on SRHR. Finland strongly stated that it will remain committed in advancing SRH/FP in low- and middle-income countries despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Finland has subsequently increased funding e.g. for humanitarian assistance in the supplementary budget for 2020 as an answer to this crisis.
The Government is expected to continue its longstanding commitment to promote rights of women and girls and SRH/FP in development cooperation. Finland emphasises that the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved by 2030 without fulfilling everyone's SRHR globally. Political and financial commitments made by the Government of Finland are reflecting the country’s strong will to enhance SRHR and sustainable development today and in the future.
Policies & funding
Women and girls are priority in Finland’s Development Policy
Finland launched the Government Report on Development Policy: ‘One World, One Future – Towards Sustainable Development’ in 2016 based on the 2030 Agenda. It sets the rights of women and girls’ as the first key priority of Finnish development policy, with a strong emphasis on SRH/FP. Gender equality and SRH/FP are also among the funding priorities.
The Minister of Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Mr. Ville Skinnari, has repeatedly highlighted that SRHR is the main sub priority of Finland’s development cooperation under women’s and girls’ rights.
SRHR one of the main priorities in humanitarian assistance
In 2019, Finland released its new Humanitarian Policy in which SRHR is one of the key priorities to concentrate humanitarian assistance. Finland is focusing on vulnerable groups, especially girls, women and persons with disabilities in humanitarian activities. In the Humanitarian Policy, Finland notes that e.g. lack of family planning in conflict areas increases inequality. The country’s goal is to advance SRHR in humanitarian crises.
ODA concentrates on the rights of women and girls
Finland’s priority in multilateral development cooperation is the enhancement of the rights and status of women and girls. In the new Government Budget Proposal for 2020, the MFA points out that more support will be channelled for multilateral cooperation and for development cooperation involving civil society organisations. Amongst the UN organisations, Finland prioritises UNFPA, UN Women and UNICEF.
Core funding to UNFPA has been on a rising track from 2017, at the level of €17.5 million to €17.7 million in 2018 and € 20 million in 2019. In 2020 the funding is expected to rise significantly to € 33 million. Following the commitment made during the Nairobi ICPD25 Summit, Finland is expected to have already significantly increased funding to UNFPA by 80%. UNFPA hence remains the largest receiver of Finnish core funding among the UN organisations, which indicates Finland’s strong commitment to SRH/FP related issues.
Finnish commitment to SRH/FP is further supported by the fact that the country’s in 2019 has increased by 19% compared to 2018, amounting to € 29.8 million. In line with 2020 estimates, there is a positive forecast that overall funding will increase during the current Government.
Fragile states are also emphasised in Finland’s development cooperation policy and funding. For example, Finland supports SRH/FP in Afghanistan, Somalia, Myanmar and Syria and its neighbouring areas through UNFPA and Marie Stopes International.
Finland had a strong, progressive voice in the 2030 Agenda process in support of human rights and gender equality, including FP. Women’s and girls’ rights and gender equality continue being main priorities in Finland’s development cooperation.
The Minister of Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Mr. Ville Skinnari, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Pekka Haavisto, are both vocal SRH/FP advocates at national, European and UN level. The Ministers emphasise the importance of SRH/FP in their public speeches and announcements.
- Finland’s ODA in 2020
- Government Report on Development Policy 2016, summary
- The Finnish Foreign Service UN Strategy
- Freedom to Choose: Sexual and Reproductive Health and rights in Finland’s Development Policy
- Finland’s Humanitarian Policy (In Finnish)
Updated January 2021
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