Leaders and Experts of Civic Society Organizations (CSO) in Ethiopia attending an experience sharing session organized by the Embassy of Finland underlined that Finland has shown remarkable commitment to support the ongoing development in the nation.
The event, which was celebrated under the theme 'Ethio-Finnish Development Cooperation of 50 Years from the CSOs Perspective', also underscored that the Funding for Local Cooperation (FLC) and Finnish International NGOs operating in Ethiopia are putting notable efforts and need to be commended.
Finland Ambassador to Ethiopia, Helena Airaksinen told the Ethiopian Herald that CSOs in Ethiopia have contributed a lot to the ongoing development of their country and the FLC has been an important instrument in enabling them participate effectively in the development process.
Mentioning the fact that the development cooperation between the two nations started in 1967, the Ambassador said that the core goal of Finland's development policy is to eradicate extreme poverty and to reduce inequality through human rights like the rights of women and girls, children and the most vulnerable groups including people with disabilities.
According to her, the priority areas that the Embassy cooperates with Ethiopia are improving the status and livelihoods of women and girls, creating jobs and well being and food security, access to water, energy and sustainable use of natural resources.
Investing in equal opportunities would have much role to op-en up the way for the exceptional economic and social development. When women and men have equal rights and opportunities, poverty is easily alleviated, Ambassador Helena noted.
The present bilateral cooperation program in Ethiopia is aimed at securing the fact that people in rural Ethiopia have decent livelihoods and access clean potable water, sanitation and hygiene, and have improved health and general education access to all school age children.
Economic and Trade Affairs Cooperation Coordinator Head of the Embassy Arto Valjas said on his part that the current development cooperation policy prioritizes women empowerment, job creation opportunities and well-being, building a well-functioning democratic society, food security, water and energy cooperation as major focus areas of cooperation.
And regarding bilateral government to government cooperation programs, the coordinator explained that areas like water and sanitation, general, inclusive and special needs education improvement, agriculture and land administration are significantly given prime attention, the coordinator explained.
Mekonnen Mulat, who presented a paper on Ethio-Finish 50 years Development Cooperation stressed that the partnership between the two nations which began since the 70's formally covers areas of partnership on areas like health, potable water supply development, education and empowerment of women, persons with disabilities and socially marginalized groups.
The experts gathered at the event also underlined that Finish Development Cooperation in the areas of special needs education and Red Cross Society is exemplary to other donor nations and organizations.