Finland allocates $31mln in non-military aid for Ukraine
Out of the 29 million euros allocated to Ukraine, 15 million will be sent for humanitarian aid and 14 million toward development cooperation.
Finnish Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the country had granted an aid package worth 29 million euros ($31 million) to answer Ukraine's request for humanitarian and radiation safety.
"Ukraine has requested support from Finland, particularly to meet the immediate and longer-term needs related to education, the environment, and radiation safety. Finland will provide Ukraine with EUR 29 million in humanitarian assistance and development cooperation support," a statement issued by the Ministry reads.
From the 29 million, 15 million will be allocated towards humanitarian aid and 14 million towards development cooperation.
"We must combat war fatigue. To cope with this crisis, people need food, shelter, and medication, and children need to get to school," Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari said.
The funds would get channeled through Finnish civil society organizations and international organizations, including 5 million euros through the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and 5.4 million euros through the WFP and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Finland's parliament on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining NATO on March 1st, ahead of ratifications from Hungary and Turkey, increasing the likelihood it will enter the US-led military alliance before Nordic neighbor Sweden.
After the beginning of the Ukraine war, both Finland and Sweden dropped their decades-long policies of military non-alignment and applied to join the trans-Atlantic defense pact last May.
However, Sweden has had several diplomatic spats with NATO member Turkey, which threatens to delay its membership bid and chances of joining at the same time as Finland.
Finnish lawmakers approved legislation affirming that Finland accepts the terms of the NATO treaty by 184 votes against seven, with one abstention and seven MPs not present.
"The vote is an important step on our NATO path. The security of the homeland is a common cause," Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen wrote on Twitter.
Joining NATO requires ratification from its 30 members, and Hungary and Turkey remain the holdouts.
Finland's parliament pushed for the legislation to be passed pre-emptively, ahead of the April 2 general elections, to avoid ratifications coming in before a new government has been formed.
Markus Mustajarvi from the Left Alliance party -- which has been vocal in its NATO opposition in the past -- had asked lawmakers to strike down the bill, citing a lack of guarantees that nuclear weapons would not be placed in Finland.