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. After deep ODA cuts in 2016, Finland is beginning to increase its aid budget again.
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. It sets the rights of girls and women as the first key priority of Finnish development policy with strong emphasis on SRH/FP. Women and girls and SRH/FP are also among the funding priorities. The Government Report on Development Policy is based on Agenda 2030.
Fragile states are also emphasized in Finland’s development cooperation policy and funding. For example, Finland supports SRH/FP in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Myanmar and Syria and its neighbouring areas through UNFPA and Marie Stopes International.
ODA concentrates on the rights of women and girls
Finland’s 2018 ODA budget was set at €886 million, of which €544 million dedicated to be spent on Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinated development cooperation and the rest (€342 million) on reception of refugees, civilian crisis management expenses, capital investments and EU’s Development Cooperation Instrument.
In 2017, Finland used €930 million for development cooperation, which accounted only for 0.41 % of GNI (see overview here). In 2015, the share was 0.55 % of GNI. Of the funding spent in 2017, €14.5 million was allocated to SRH/FP funding, maintaining similar levels to 2016.
Finland’s priority in multilateral development cooperation is the enhancement of the rights and status of women and girls. Amongst the UN organizations, Finland prioritizes UNFPA, UN Women and UNICEF. Nevertheless, the ODA cuts also hit these organisations. SRH/FP related core funding to UNFPA has decreased from €19 million in 2016 to €17.5 million in 2017. Despite these cuts in funding, UNFPA remains the second largest receiver of Finnish funding to UN organisations which indicates that Finland’s commitment still lies with SRH/FP related issues.
Finland had a strong, progressive voice in the Agenda 2030 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.
Finland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development is a loud SRH/FP advocate at national, European and UN level. The Minister emphasizes the importance of SRH/FP in her public speeches and announcements, and is also actively involved in the SheDecides movement.
- 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
Updated January 2019
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