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Development cooperation appropriations

In the State budget of 2016, a total of EUR 818 million is reserved for development cooperation appropriations. Development cooperation appropriations consist of the exclusive ODA budget item administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) and other development cooperation funding.  The share of the ODA administered by the MFA is EUR 493 million.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for Finland’s exclusive ODA budget item

Finland's development cooperation appropriations for 2016 (EUR 818 million) account for about 0.38 per cent of its gross national income (GNI). The amount of the appropriations is smaller than in the previous years, because of cuts made as a part of the general government adjustment measures. The cuts decided by the Government are directed for the years 2016–2020. Finland is committed to raising the share of ODA to 0.7 per cent of GNI.

Development cooperation appropriations are divided into the exclusive ODA budget item administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and other development cooperation funding.

The appropriations under the exclusive ODA budget item administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are designated to nine budget allocation table lines:

  1. Multilateral development cooperation
  2. Country-specific and regional development cooperation
  3. European Development Fund
  4. Non-country specific development cooperation
  5. Humanitarian assistance
  6. Planning, support functions and communication of development cooperation
  7. Evaluation and internal audit of development cooperation
  8. Support to development cooperation conducted by civil society organisations
  9. Concessional credits

In statistics, other development cooperation funding includes costs arising from the reception of refugees, Finland's share of the EU development cooperation budget, and other disbursements counted as development assistance in various administrative sectors.

In development cooperation, the amount of the appropriations allocated for a given year differs from the funds actually used (i.e. the disbursements), because the appropriations are so-called deferrable appropriations. This means that if, for some reason, all the allocated appropriations cannot be used in the first year, they are still available in the subsequent two years.

Development cooperation is conducted in difficult conditions. It is therefore important that there is room for manoeuvre in the use of the appropriations. On the other hand, it takes years to achieve lasting development results, which is why a long-term commitment to cooperation is needed.

How were development cooperation funds used in 2015?

In 2015, the actual Finnish official development assistance (i.e. the disbursements) totalled EUR 1.161 billion, which accounts for 0.55 per cent of GNI. The amounts of bilateral cooperation assistance and multilateral cooperation assistance were EUR 629 and EUR 532 million respectively.

The difficult humanitarian situation in the world was reflected in the allocation of aid. Like in 2014, development cooperation funds were mainly channelled to humanitarian aid and the prevention of disasters: EUR 105,7 million.

In Finland's bilateral cooperation, the next biggest sectors supported were developing countries' public administrations and CSOs (10%), education (8%), and forestry and agriculture (8%).

Statistics on Finland's development assistance disbursements in 2015

The chart below shows the distribution of Finland's bilateral development assistance into different sectors (in Finnish).

Distribution of Finland's bilateral development assistance in 2015.
Distribution of Finland's bilateral development assistance in 2015.

"Unspecified" covers horizontal aid, allocated to different fields of activity.

Development cooperation disbursements 1990–2015

In 2015, Finland's development cooperation disbursements dropped by approximately EUR 68 million compared to the previous year. In the longer term, development cooperation disbursements have almost doubled from EUR 600 million in the early 1990s to EUR 1.164 billion in 2015.

The share of development assistance of GNI reached the 0.7 per cent level in 1991 but dropped to 0.3 per cent in just a few years. Since then, the share of GNI has slowly grown to reach 0.6 per cent in 2014 and 0.55 per cent in 2015.

Development cooperation disbursements 1990-2015.

Disbursements to the largest recipient countries

The ten biggest partner countries or regions in 2015 were Afghanistan, Tanzania, Mozambique, Nepal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Zambia, Syria and the Palestinian territories.

Largest recipient countries in 2015.

Statistics on the use of development cooperation funds

On the international level, the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) monitors the ODA performance of its member countries, which submit their reports to it. Statistics showing the OECD/DAC member countries' development cooperation funds can be accessed on the DAC website.

Finland promotes the transparency of development cooperation internationally

Finland is committed to the promotion of the transparency of development cooperation and also supports this objective internationally. Finland is one of the founders of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).

IATI's mission is to collect and publish development cooperation information in an easily accessible and comparable form. More than 130 development cooperation actors from governmental donors to foundations and CSOs have committed to it. The aim is to create a common open standard for different development actors. When the various parties report their data in a uniform format, it is easier to make comparisons and exchange of information is more transparent.

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