Funding granted for Finnish civil society organisations’ development cooperation to strengthen the rights of the persons in the most vulnerable position

Through the Foreign Ministry’s funding for development cooperation Finnish CSOs and their partners promote poverty eradication, reduction of inequality and the fulfilment of human rights. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has awarded approximately EUR 21 million in discretionary government grants for Finnish CSOs’ development cooperation projects in 2023–2026.

The project support is part of the development cooperation appropriation allocated for civil society’s development cooperation to promote the objectives of Finland’s development policy. Funding is granted for 51 projects carried out by 31 Finnish civil society organisations. The majority of these projects are implemented in the least developed countries and fragile states in Africa and Asia. The projects support the objectives, capacity and advocacy of local civil society actors. Projects are implemented especially in countries where the state of civil society is markedly narrowed.

“An independent and diverse civil society is one of the cornerstones of democracy. Safeguarding civil rights is an important and central element of Finland’s development cooperation,” says Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.

The projects that receive funding promote the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the pledge to leave no one behind. They focus on strong grass-roots activities in remote and poorest regions. The organisations’ work strengthens the rights of ethnic minorities, socially excluded young people, women with disabilities and school dropouts, for example. The projects are based on each organisation’s special expertise, and they involve extensive cooperation with different partners, such as local public authorities and educational institutions. CSO projects improve the learning opportunities of children and young people with disabilities and promote young people’s vocational education and training and entrepreneurship. The projects strengthen the livelihoods, literacy and participation of women and girls. 

“CSOs’ projects play an important role also in improving income and food security in areas that are most affected by climate change and the current global situation. Organisations’ work will strengthen the opportunities of local communities to promote climate resilient agriculture and entrepreneurship. We want to support local solutions and partnerships that promote sustainable development,” Skinnari says.

Application round for project support in 2022, list of the projects to which the support was granted for 2023–2026 (PDF).


  • Tiina Kajakoski, Deputy Director of Unit, Unit for Civil Society, Department for Development Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 351 570.
  • The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format