The Finnish Red Cross is the biggest Finnish civic organization providing humanitarian aid. In addition, the Finnish Red Cross is one of the most important Finnish organizations providing development assistance. The aid coming from Finland consists of financial support as well as material and personnel aid directed at international operations and programmes. The development cooperation assistance is focused specifically on two areas: disaster relief work and health work. The rapid deployment units of the Finnish Red Cross provide expertise in humanitarian aid: field hospitals and clinics as well as delegates, all of which can be deployed to a disaster area with only a few hours’ notice.
The Finnish Red Cross directs aid to dozens of countries annually. The Finnish Red Cross always operates in cooperation with one of the 190 Red Cross or Red Crescent sister national societies and the local volunteers. In order to assist the most vulnerable groups of people in their own countries the support of the Finnish Red Cross is aimed at improving the preparedness of the national Red Cross or the Red Crescent societies. The objective is to quickly shift from humanitarian assistance phase into meeting the more long-term development needs whenever it is possible.