Finland weighs future of $13M aid to Nicaragua

    Nicaragua, one of the biggest recipients of Finnish development aid, may soon lose the financial backing of the European donor.

    Finland is weighing whether to continue its financial support for Nicaragua, according to Helsingin Sanomat. The government is expected to reach a final decision by next week or early March at the latest, the Helsinki-based newspaper says.

    Finnish Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala has hinted the government is likely to end its development cooperation with the Latin American country in line with Finland’s human rights-oriented development policy. Hautala said Finland cannot continue its bilateral assistance to Nicaragua because of the corruption and lack of transparency there, Helsingin Sanomat reports. Finland currently provides about €10 million ($13 million) annually to the country.

    Nongovernmental organizations, meanwhile, are expected to continue their programs in Nicaragua.

    Aside from pursuing a human rights-based approach to development cooperation, Finland is re-evaluating its budget priorities. Hautala, in a conversation with Devex in December, said Finland was looking at ways to limit the number of its partner countries.

    >> The future of Finnish development cooperation: A conversation with Heidi Hautala

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.