Finland must not turn its back on the world
Finland must shoulder its global responsibility by supporting people who need it most. Love of one’s neighbour knows no national boundaries, but applies to people living in the farthest corners of the Earth. The Deaconess Foundation has added its voice to the joint appeal of Finnish development organisations: We do not want Finland to turn its back on the world.
We all hope for a safe future. The most effective way to build lasting peace and stability is to tackle the root causes of crises, such as human rights abuses, the erosion of democracy, inequality and poverty.
Alongside military conflict, the rise in inequality and the onrush of the climate crisis are among the greatest threats to societal security. Long-term development cooperation is therefore more important than ever.
Development cooperation, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping are important investments by Finland in global security and stability. They help both to prevent crises and to support the most vulnerable people. Preventing conflicts is more cost-effective in human and economic terms than resolving them afterwards.
Only adequate funding can deliver results
Sustained development cooperation achieves significant results, according to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs recent Development Policy Results Report 2022. For example, more than 2 million jobs in developing countries have been created through channels that Finland supports  and it has helped ensure that more girls complete primary school.
To be effective, development cooperation must be predictable and adequately funded. Finland is committed to increasing its development funding to the UN-recommended level of 0.7% of GNI.
In recent years, Finland’s level of development funding has fluctuated between 0.4% and 0.5% – so we are well behind the other Nordic countries. It is important that Finland raises the level of development funding to the level recommended by the UN.
Deaconess Foundation defends human dignity in Finland and around the world
Human dignity, love of one’s neighbour and responsibility are the values on which the Deaconess Foundation is based. The foundation devotes at least 1% of its budget each year to development cooperation and we are committed to maintaining at least this level of funding in the future. We want to defend human dignity and promote human rights both in Finland and around the world.
The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has made many Finns see the importance of emergency aid with new eyes. The Deaconess Foundation’s humanitarian assistance in Ukraine has reached out especially to the most vulnerable groups, such as disabled people and the discriminated Roma minority.
Finland must shoulder its global responsibility
We only have one world. It is open, and there is no going back to a world of closed doors. To yearn for this is only nostalgic wishful thinking.
In an uncertain world, we must shoulder our responsibilities. Development cooperation is precisely that – a proactive effort to build a better world globally.
The Deaconess Foundation joins development organisations and more than 200 civil society activists in calling on Finland not to turn its back on the world. We want Finland to create a stable and secure world for all. Let’s build the future we want together.
The writer Maija Hyle is the Director of Non-Profit Work at the Deaconess Foundation.