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Finland stops development aid to Nicaragua

Friday, 17 February 2012
Finland is to suspend aid to the Central American state of Nicaragua after decades of development cooperation. The decision is part of Finland’s new development policy programme, which was approved on Thursday.

Finland bases its decision on the actions of Nicaragua’s current government, which is perceived as autocratic. Finland’s new development programme, meanwhile, focuses particularly on human rights, says Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala.

“The government in Nicaragua is quite authoritarian and the budget isn’t transparent,” Hautala notes.
Democracy and green economy have also gained prominence among the goals of Finland’s development policy, while the elimination of poverty remains the primary target.

The government now plans to concentrate on providing development aid to a smaller number of countries. They include Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Zambia and Vietnam.

Altogether, this spells the end for Finland’s long-standing aid to Nicaragua, which has focused on rural development, improving health services and good governance.

In 2010, Finland’s aid to the Central American state amounted to 11 million euros. Now, development projects in Nicaragua will be left to NGOs.
News source: Yle

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