Photo: Anne Heinonen
On World Humanitarian Day, we are excited to announce that the Finnish Refugee Council (FRC) is now one of seven partners of the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) in Finland. The partnership with ECHO will enable us to strengthen our role as a humanitarian actor.
ECHO is the Department of the European Union in charge of Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations and has been providing humanitarian assistance to people in need since 1992. Whenever there is a disaster or a humanitarian emergency, ECHO operates through over 200 partner organisations. At the end of a complex process meant to appraise and certify the operational, organisational and financial soundness of applicant organisations, FRC has become ECHO partner on 4th of March 2019. By signing the partnership agreement with ECHO, FRC is one of the only seven ECHO partner organisations in Finland among Finn Church Aid, Finnish Red Cross, Fida International, Plan International Finland, World Vision Finland, and Save the Children Finland.
FRC’s mandate covers the entire arc of displacement from the people who are newly displaced to those settled in new environments and those returning to their homes. We work closely with refugees, internally displaced people, returnees and host communities. To date, FRC’s international work has focused on applying a development-oriented approach in humanitarian contexts, such as protracted refugee crisis settings and fragile post-conflict countries. This humanitarian-development nexus is inbuilt in FRC development co-operation programming.
The main sectors of our development projects are adult education and livelihood support. The ECHO partnership allows us to be also eligible for the humanitarian financing granted by institutional humanitarian partners such as the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA), thus expanding our funding opportunities and enhancing the realisation of our mandate. Under prospective ECHO and MFA humanitarian funding we can realise our commitment to respond to new humanitarian emergencies and to assist the forcibly displaced since the early stages of humanitarian crises with a more rapid and flexible response. Outside of Finland, our countries of operations are Uganda, Myanmar, Turkey and, in the near future, Ethiopia.
Initially our humanitarian operations will focus on Education in Emergencies. FRC will work to build synergies and complementarities with other ECHO partners to bring functional adult literacy, gender, inclusion and protection into education in emergencies. Ensuring access to education during crises is extremely important. The number of forcibly displaced people in the world is at a record high of 70.8 million people of whom half are children. Not knowing how to read or write puts them in an increasingly vulnerable position. Thus, providing education for those displaced is both an immediate emergency response and a long-term solution for better coping and integration in a new society.
The Finnish Refugee Council is Finland’s largest expert organisation focusing on refugee and migration issues. Every year we support thousands of people in recovering from conflicts and integrating into new societies. For over 50 years our work has positively impacted lives in Finland as well as in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
For more information:
Leena Kumpulainen, Director of International Programme, Finnish Refugee Council
+358 40 543 4541, firstname.lastname@example.org