There is strong political and financial commitment for global SRH/FP in the Finnish development policy and cooperation. Despite austerity measures and cuts in Overseas Development Assistance, there remains a strong commitment to global SRH/FP.
Policies & funding
Women and girls are priority in Finland’s Development Policy
In 2016 Finland launched the Government Report on Development Policy: One World, One Future – Towards Sustainable Development. It sets the rights of girls and women as the first key priority of Finnish development policy with strong emphasis on SRHR. Women and girls and SRH/FP are also among the funding priorities. The Government Report on Development Policy is based on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Fragile states are also emphasized in Finland’s development cooperation policy and funding. For example, Finland supports SRH/FP in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Myanmar through UNFPA and Marie Stopes International (MSI).
ODA concentrates on the rights of women and girls
Finland disbursed nearly €25 million in 2016, a substantial decrease (-57%) compared to 2015. The decrease was mainly driven by a reduction in funding to UNFPA Core support. However, in 2017, Finland made commitments to SRH/FP by pledging €20 million as part of the SheDecides initiative and an additional €21.3 million to SRH/FP at the FP Summit, of which €18 million will be directed at UNFPA core Funding.
Finland’s priority in multilateral development cooperation is the enhancement of the rights and status of women and girls. Among the UN organization Finland prioritizes UNFPA, UN Women and UNICEF. Nevertheless, the ODA cuts also hit these organisations. Despite the austerity measures in ODA, the proportion of SRH/FP funding has remained relatively strong. For example, funding for IPPF has remained stable and funding for MSI has increased.
Finland had a strong, progressive voice in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development process in support of human rights and gender equality, including FP. Finland wants to profile itself as a champion in gender and SRH/FP issues, and SRH/FP was Finland’s main priority in UN General Assembly 2017 messaging.
Finland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development is a loud SRH/FP advocate in national, European and UN fora: The Minister continuously emphasizes the importance of SRH/FP in his public speeches and announcements. Finland is actively involved in the SheDecides movement and has also called for the European Commission to increase its funding to SRH/FP.
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