Petition for development cooperation

Petition for development cooperation

The petition has been closed on 7th of September 2015.

41 271 undersigned object to the steep cuts in development cooperation funding planned by the new Finnish Government. Thousands of people want to send a strong message to Finland's government that the world's most vulnerable people need our support.

The petition was handed to development minister Lenita Toivakka in the Demonstration for Development Cooperation on September 8th in Helsinki. #eiköyhimmiltä #mevälitämme

We, the undersigned, object to the steep cuts in development cooperation funding planned by the new Finnish Government. Tell Finland's government that the world's most vulnerable people need our support. #eiköyhimmiltä

The cuts will directly affect the lives of millions. There is a risk that Finnish involvement in development cooperation could end completely in some of the countries that Finland currently supports. The consequences of such cuts would be particularly serious for fragile states. For Finland it would be the wrong choice to refuse to help the world’s most vulnerable people.

Development policies are inseparable from foreign and trade policies. The new government programme specifies that Finland will bear its global responsibilities and strengthen security, sustainable development, peacebuilding, efforts to halt climate change, and the statuses of women and children. But these goals cannot be reached without development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Finland is known internationally for taking action reliably and observing agreed principles. Our reputation as a dependable partner will suffer greatly if such extensive cuts are realised so rapidly. Finland will also be setting a bad example to other EU countries by choosing development cooperation funding as an area for cuts.

We, the undersigned, represent ordinary citizens who wish to participate in work that promotes global justice. Many of us contribute to development cooperation ourselves through financial donations or voluntary work. We hope that our national government will also demonstrate its support for development cooperation by ensuring that such work can continue.

We call on the government to act within reason when realising the planned cuts in development cooperation. The proposed funding reductions of about 50 percent* are unreasonably harsh, and threaten to paralyse Finland’s development cooperation work and humanitarian aid. They will also take Finland even further away from the internationally agreed goal of channelling 0.7% of gross national income into development cooperation. If cuts have to be made in development cooperation, this must be done responsibly. Cuts should be targeted so they do not affect the poorest communities. Cuts made in moderation could be realised in ways that minimise the damage and maximise the benefit and impact of the work already done.

*) The percentage has been updated after government informed of further cuts in mid August. It's the estimated reduction of the 2015 financing level.