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Focus on crisis preparedness and stronger cooperation at meeting of Nordic Council of Ministers

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 24.3.2022 8.38 | Published in English on 24.3.2022 at 11.41
Press release 75/2022

The Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Aki Lindén will attend a meeting of the Nordic Council of Ministers in Stavanger, Norway, on 24–25 March. The ministers will discuss Nordic cooperation in preparing for crisis and providing support to Ukraine. Also on the agenda is the prevention of social exclusion among young people.

The humanitarian consequences of the war in Ukraine and the Nordic countries’ support to people fleeing Ukraine will be high on the agenda for the meeting of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Nordic countries are cooperating in many ways to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Such cooperation includes creating a picture of the current situation with healthcare and social welfare and transporting and receiving patients evacuated from the conflict area. 

To improve crisis preparedness and resilience, it is important to prepare for different kinds of crises. The Nordic countries are working together to prepare for nuclear, biological and chemical threats. The Nordic countries continue to cooperate in facilitating the border crossing of rescue personnel and vehicles. Cooperation concerning the transfer of patients will also continue.

During its Presidency, Finland introduced an initiative to develop Nordic cooperation in the area of security of supply. Finland considers that Nordic cooperation on medicines and vaccines is particularly important and therefore supports Sweden’s initiative on Nordic vaccine development and production. This is one way of strengthening the Nordic countries’ strategic autonomy in crisis situations.  

In future, the Nordic expertise on health data should also be utilised in crisis preparedness. 

“The Nordic countries are frontrunners when it comes to health data, research and innovations. Developing health data strengthens our healthcare systems and research. What we need is more information on effective medical and non-medical measures in crisis situations. We need to further develop digitalisation and artificial intelligence from this perspective,” says Minister Lindén.

Pandemic and the war in Ukraine pose a challenge to young people’s wellbeing 

Prolonged exceptional situations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have a particular impact on vulnerable young people and their experiences of inclusion. The mental health of young people in particular is being put to the test.

One of the decisions that have affected young people in Finland is the extension of compulsory education until the age of 18. The creation of new wellbeing services counties and the transfer of responsibility for employment services to municipalities also make it possible to assess and reform the system of services for young people as a whole.

“We should also engage in closer Nordic cooperation in strengthening people’s resilience. In the current crisis situation as the pandemic is not yet over, this is more important than it has been for a long time,” stresses Minister Lindén in his speech.

Inquiries:

Laura Lindeberg, Special Adviser to Minister Lindén, [email protected]
Maria Waltari, Ministerial Adviser, [email protected]
Merja Mustonen, Chief Specialist (crisis preparedness), [email protected]
Anna Cantell, Director (social exclusion among young people), [email protected]

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