Finland supports UN agencies in their work to promote stability and human rights. Authoritarian states, conflicts, the food and climate crises and the COVID-19 pandemic are increasing inequality and weakening security and well-being worldwide.
Promoting equality and the status and rights of women and girls is a long-term cornerstone of Finland’s foreign and development policy. The UN’s development agencies do invaluable work around the world. In the current global situation, efforts to support the multilateral, rules-based international system are more important than ever.
“Supporting women, girls, children and people with disabilities in developing countries is essential for global wellbeing and development,” says Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.
Through its work, UN Women has increased women’s participation in society and improved national legislation in countries around the world. UN Women is the UN agency responsible for addressing gender equality issues.
The United Nations Population Fund, or UNFPA, enables women and girls to access sexual and reproductive health services and family planning, which is estimated to have prevented 60 million unplanned pregnancies, 160,000 maternal deaths and 16.9 million dangerous abortions between 2019 and 2021.
The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF works to safeguard the rights of the child. Last year, UNICEF’s work to prevent malnutrition reached nearly 336 million children.
The United Nations Development Programme UNDP seeks to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality through sustainable development. In 2018–2021, UNDP’s support allowed 71 million people to access basic services and helped 38 million new voters register to vote in thirty different countries. Eighty per cent of them were women.
The United Nations Environment Programme UNEP supports countries around the world in transitioning to models that help to combat climate change, halt biodiversity loss and prevent environmental pollution. The agency plays a key role in the negotiations of the new United Nations Treaty on plastic pollution.
This year, Finland has provided EUR 33 million in core funding to UNFPA and EUR 19 million to UN Women. A total of EUR 7 million has been allocated to UNICEF, EUR 2 million to the UN Development Programme and EUR 2.5 million to the UN Environment Programme.
Finland has recently conducted risk management assessments of the agencies receiving core funding. Based on the results, Finland knows that the agencies’ control mechanisms are functioning, which means the organization can provide the funding.
“It is important for Finland that we can trust the risk management systems of the partners whose work we finance. We will continue to pay particular attention to monitoring in the future, too,” says Titta Maja-Luoto, Director General of the Department for Development Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.