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Finland to review dev cooperation with Palestine

Published : 12 Oct 2023, 03:22

Updated : 12 Oct 2023, 03:27

  DF Report
A Palestinian man stands near a building destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, on Oct. 11, 2023. Photo: Xinhua.

Finland will review its Country Programme for development cooperation in Palestine following the escalation of the situation in Israel, said the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in a press release on Wednesday.

Finland unequivocally condemns the assault against Israel by the terrorist organisation Hamas.

In this way, Finland can verify that its support is targeted correctly. The report will be submitted to Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio.

At the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, risk management in development cooperation involves detailed planning, careful selection of partners and regular monitoring and oversight of projects.

All partners report to the Ministry on their achievement of objectives and use of funds.

The Ministry also commissions independent external reviews and audits on the use of funds. In Palestine, the use of funds is monitored and overseen by Finland’s Representative Office in Ramallah.

Finland finances its Palestine Country Programme with around EUR 7 million a year. In addition to the Country Programme, Finland grants EUR 5 million a year in humanitarian assistance to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Some of Finland’s support to Palestine is channelled through Finnish civil society organisations, amounting to around EUR 850,000 this year. In addition, Finland supports Palestinian civil society organisations in the West Bank with some EUR 120,000. These organisations promote non-violence among young people and advocate for the rights of women.

Hamas is a terrorist organisation, and under no circumstances are any of Finland’s or of the EU’s development cooperation funds allocated to such organisations.

Finland has no connection to Hamas. However, the international community has a long-standing relationship with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

In Palestine, Finland promotes the two-state solution, defends human rights and strengthens the civil society.