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Finland offers assistance to help India fight COVID-19 epidemic

Ministry for Foreign AffairsMinistry of Social Affairs and HealthMinistry of the Interior
27.4.2021 18.31
Press release 50/2021

On 27 April, Finland offered to provide India with material assistance to help the country in the extremely difficult COVID-19 crisis. Finland is prepared to send oxygen bottles to India via the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism.

“Finland considers it important that we respond to India’s request for assistance. An international request for assistance tells about the severity of the coronavirus situation and the depth of the crisis in the healthcare system,” says Kimmo Kohvakka, Director General for Rescue Services at the Ministry of the Interior.

“India is one of the EU’s strategic partners in Asia. The partnership involves solidarity at critical times. India helped other countries of the world by donating and exporting COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in the country. Finland and the EU are willing to help India,” says Piritta Asunmaa, Director General of the Department for the Americas and Asia at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

“Finland's response to the request for assistance is an excellent example of the good cooperation between public authorities and business in security of supply and material preparedness. This helps to ensure that Finland is well prepared for and capable of providing assistance to others in distress, says Jaakko Pekki, Director at the National Emergency Supply Agency.

India asks the EU to send material assistance in the form of oxygen bottles and medical supplies

India has requested support through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, which has overburdened the country's healthcare system. Medical supplies and oxygen are currently in short supply and hospitals are not able to admit new patients. India has reported over 16 million cases associated with COVID-19 and nearly 200,000 deaths.

The Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the National Emergency Supply Agency and Oy Linde Gas Ab, which will provide the oxygen bottles, have prepared Finland’s response to the request for assistance together. The European Commission is coordinating the pooling of assistance and supports Member States in the arrangement of logistics and in transport costs.

Inquiries: 
Kimmo Kohvakka, Director General for Rescue Services, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 295 488 400, [email protected]
Veera Parko, Director for International Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 40 557 7611, [email protected] 
Taneli Puumalainen, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 280, [email protected]
Veikko Kiljunen, Director, Unit for South Asia, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 101
Jaakko Pekki, Director, National Emergency Supply Agency, tel. +358 29 505 1015, [email protected]