Finland will not give any development aid to governments and countries that support Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to the programme of Finland’s new right-wing government, Foreign Trade and Development Minister Ville Tavio told YLE on Monday.
”Finland will not give development aid to governments or entities that support Russia’s war of aggression,” the new government’s programme reads.
The government will not only cut development aid by millions but also prioritise and redirect it. “Ukraine will become a new recipient country”, Tavio told YLE.
Tavio refused to name countries subjected to possible cuts but mentioned Africa as a whole. ”We have witnessed African countries supporting Russia. Those countries will be under surveillance,” said the new minister.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Finland’s main bilateral partners in Africa have been Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia and Tanzania with development cooperation lasting for several decades.
Finland has committed itself to allocate 0.7% of its Gross National Income (GNI) to development funding according to the UN recommendation. However, that target has been reached only once in the early 1990s. This year, it is estimated that the budgeted development cooperation is €1.177 billion, 0.42% of the GNI.
The new government says it will cut funding gradually and take former commitments into account. By 2027, development funding is set to be reduced by around €280 million, the government announced.