YLE reports that Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen (National Coalition) hopes that the need to increase the development aid, as noted by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and other politicians, will be included in the forthcoming government program negotiations.
Ms Virolainen, who guested in TV1’s Ykkösaamu, estimated that almost all parties were prepared to raise development aid during the next parliamentary term. « We are approaching the elections and the signal from the various parties’ leaders has been clear, we must be able to do better, » she said.
According to Ms Virolainen, the next government should build a « credible path » for gradually increasing the amount of development aid to 0.7 per cent of the GDP, which Finland is committed to. This could happen gradually, over a couple of parliamentary elections, she estimated.
Due to the cuts made by the government, the development aid now amounts to about 0.4 per cent of GDP. Ms Virolainen sees no contradiction in the fact that the government parties that have in the past cut the development aid heavily would now like to increase it.
Ms Virolainen noted that the estimates of development aid’s effectiveness are currently being made, and will be submitted to the Parliament at the turn of October-November.
Media: YLE Uutiset
Journalist: Johanna Östman