Finland continues long-term support to UN, benefiting women and girls, children and education

Finland is supporting UN sustainable development goals by channelling aid to demonstrably effective UN agencies. This support for UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and UNDP promotes Finland’s foreign policy goals and values, such as enhancing the rights and equality of women and girls, and people with disabilities.

UN organisations are helping to support people living in vulnerable situations in Ukraine, Afghanistan and across the globe.

The impact of conflicts such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and a worsening global food, education and debt crisis have significantly impeded social progress in developing countries in recent years. It now seems that the UN sustainable development goals will not be achieved by 2030 without significant additional investment.

Core funding from Finland boosts the long-term, systematic work of organisations, bringing flexibility in the midst of evolving needs and crises. Finland actively influences the through the Executive Boards of organisations, determining the strategic goals of their operations and working to enhance the reform, effectiveness, transparency and risk management of the UN development system. Several UN innovation functions have been established in Finland in recent years. These also provide partnership opportunities for Finnish businesses, and for public and academic actors.

The UN gender equality entity UN Women has boosted participation of women in societies and improved legislation at national level. Support from UN Women enabled more than 86,000 women and girls to improve their ability to participate in public life and hold leadership positions last year. The work of UN Women included helping to develop a social security system that is gender-responsive in 15 countries. This enabled a narrowing of gender gaps, a stronger response to COVID-19, and a more rapid recovery from the pandemic. UN Women is also responsible for ensuring that attention is paid to gender equality issues throughout the UN.

The UN Population Fund UNFPA enables women and girls to access sexual and reproductive health services and family planning. The organisation has managed to operated successfully even in crisis conditions. In 2022 UNFPA prevented 3.7 million unsafe abortions and 30,800 maternal deaths, and secured contraception for 59 million couples. A total of 112,000 girls were saved from genital mutilation.

The UN children’s fund UNICEF provided aid to 356.3 million children under the age of 5 years with a view to preventing malnutrition in 2022. This is more than ever before, despite the challenges of a global food crisis. Aid from UNICEF enabled some 77.9 million children to be vaccinated against measles, with the organisation managing to vaccinate more than 27 million children in the midst of humanitarian crises. UNICEF also helped to ensure schooling opportunities for some 37.9 million children.

The UN development program UNDP works to eradicate poverty and realise sustainable development. In 2022, UNDP assisted in developing digital solutions that enabled nine million people in war-torn Ukraine to receive financial support, including pension payments. UNDP has also supported environmental work in more than 140 countries. UNDP reconstruction efforts included working with the national government, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Union to help restore the livelihoods of victims of devastating floods in Pakistan.

Finland has allocated some EUR 30 million to UNFPA, EUR 19 million to UN Women, EUR 7 million to UNICEF and EUR 2 million to UNDP from its 2023 budget for development cooperation.

The Ministerial Finance Committee issued a favourable decision on core funding for UNFPA and UN Women in accordance with the normal procedure on 16 March 2023.


  • Satu Lassila, Director, Unit for UN Development and Innovation Issues, tel. +358 29 535 0897

  • The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format