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Finland Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Grants to civil service organizations in Finland and in partner developing countries for agriculture, energy, environment, and natural resources

Principal Office: Finland

The main goal of Finland’s development policy, coordinated by Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA), is to contribute to the eradication of the world’s extreme poverty. Finland subscribes to the UN’s Millennium Declaration and its principles.

Environment and sustainable development figure prominently in Finland’s development cooperation. Leading themes include energy; agriculture and rural development; forestry; water and sanitation; and environment and climate.

Grant Programs for Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Natural Resources

1 — Partnership Agreements with Finnish Development Organizations. Through the MFA, the government of Finland offers several funding mechanisms for Finnish civil society to participate in development assistance. The MFA channels a large share of its NGO funding to a few Finnish organizations which have long-term partnership agreements with the Ministry. These are mainly organizations which provide humanitarian and social assistance in developing countries.

APPLICATION: The MFA presents criteria and instructions for the Partnership Agreement Scheme, along with information about when and how to submit applications.

About support to Finnish partnership organizations, and how to apply

2 — Support for Special Foundations. The MFA provides multi-annual funding to three intermediary foundations in Finland, which in turn administer grant programs for applicants from the developing countries. The program important for “green sector” projects is the Siemenpuu Foundation.

APPLICATION: Civil society organizations in the participating developing countries, along with international organizations, work directly with Siemenpuu. The Foundation publishes irregular calls for proposals in the news on its website.

Link to news

3 — Grants to International NGOs. The MFA is willing to consider applications from international and regional NGOs when their activities are consistent with Finnish development policy, and when these international NGOs are the best choice for promoting particular objectives.

APPLICATION: The MFA presents its policy on support of international NGOs, and its criteria for international NGOs to be able to qualify for support. Calls for proposals are announced approximately once per year.

About support for international NGOs

4 — Local Cooperation Funds. Finnish embassies make grants to educational institutions and other civil society organizations in support of Finland’s development cooperation at the country level.

APPLICATION: Grant seekers should inquire with Finland’s embassies regarding Finland’s local cooperation funds. The information is sometimes posted on embassy websites (usually via social media).

Link to Finland’s diplomatic missions

Geographical Distribution of Grant Activities in Developing Countries

Finland’s bilateral partner countries for long-term development cooperation are indicated below.

Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands: Myanmar, Vietnam

South Asia: Nepal

Eurasia and Central Asia: Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan

Eastern Europe and Russia: Ukraine 

Sub-Saharan Africa: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia

Note: The Local Cooperation Funds, administered by Finland’s embassies, are available in various developing countries not included in this list. 

The Ministry’s website is available in Finnish, English, and Swedish.

In addition to the grant-making programs above, the MFA coordinates with other Finnish and international organizations to fund the following:

Grant seekers may benefit by information from Fingo – which is an umbrella organization of 300 member organizations working in the areas of development cooperation and global education.

Study in Finland is a website of English-language degree and non-degree programs; information about Finland’s higher education institutions; and a guide to scholarships, admissions systems, and living in Finland.

March 2021