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Norway calls for creation of UN summit on tax and financial transparency

The Secretary General of Norwegian Church Aid, Anne-Marie Helland, has called for the creation of a Norwegian-initiated UN summit on tax and financial transparency. The summit would be the first step towards ensuring a fairer global tax system, to which developing states currently lose over US$200 billion a year. Helland urged the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, to increase efforts to strengthen tax institutions, and claimed that there will be strong support for such an initiative from both civil society and the private sector.

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway

Development Fund highlights importance of agriculture and food security for development

Development Fund Norway, an NGO that supports small-scale farmers in their fight against hunger and poverty, released a report on December 6, 2017 entitled ‘Food, War and Peace: Vulnerable States and Food Production’. The report argues that Norwegian efforts to improve living conditions in developing states must focus on food security and agriculture. In particular, Norwegian initiatives should seek to:

  • Secure living conditions, food production, and land rights;
  • Invest in youth, their rights and abilities within food production;
  • Increase investments in new climate-adapted agricultural tools and methods.

According to the report, food security and local agriculture contribute to the bedrock of development.

Website - The Development Fund (in Norwegian)

Norway Agriculture

Norad director highlights 3 actions to eradicate HIV/AIDS by 2030

Jon Lomøy, director of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and board member of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), has laid out three crucial elements for achieving the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, in an op-ed in the Norwegian publication Bistandsaktuelt. 

  • Predictable funding from donor states, earmarked for global health: Funding to global health initiatives has not increased since 2010, although the population and the needs have increased. Continued efforts to lower the prices for medicines is also highly effective.
  • Human-rights based approach to reach everyone affected: HIV thrives in areas with human-rights violations, and hits vulnerable groups especially hard. Broad alliances and enhanced efforts to secure implementation and maintenance of human rights and non-discrimination are essential.
  • Universal health care through a strong health-care system: HIV targeted efforts must become part of the universal health care system, and treatment must be offered as part of general healthcare.

Op-ed - Bistandsaktuelt

Norway Global health

ODA increases by US$135 million in Norway's final 2017 budget

Norway's final 2017 budget has offered a US$135-million increase in ODA funding, with additional resources freed up as a result of reduced refugee-related costs in the country. The increase will mainly be allocated to the following causes within sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle-East:

  • US$56 million for humanitarian assistance in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Bangladesh, and other under-funded crises;
  • US$14.5 million to transitional assistance for stabilization in Iraq through the UNDP;
  • US$14.9 million to the World Bank Fund for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon;
  • US$11.2 million to a regional grant for Africa;
  • US$2.5 million to Norfund;
  • US$24.8 million to GAVI;
  • US$ 11.2 million to the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi)

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway

Norad reports on need to strengthen ODA toward education

A new report by Konterra Group for the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) found that, although Norwegian ODA earmarked for education in crisis-affected regions has achieved considerable impact, outcomes could have been improved through better coordination. Currently, the Norwegian government is relying heavily on trusting that recipient NGOs are using the funding to maximize impact. Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide says that the government needs to facilitate dialogues with recipient organizations in order to strengthen impact and properly monitor outcomes.

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway

Norway reaffirms its climate commitments at COP 23

At the UN Climate Conference (COP 23) in Bonn, Norwegian Minister of Climate and the Environment Vidar Helgesen reaffirmed Norway's commitment to the Paris Agreement, highlighting the country's goal to become a low-emission society by 2050. Helgesen also reiterated Norway's dedication to the collective goal of mobilizing US$100 billion to support developing countries in mitigating and adapting to climate change. 

According to Helgesen, the Talanoa Dialogue, scheduled to be held in 2018, will be "crucial to close the emission gap".

Press release - Norwegian government

Norway

Norwegian Labour and Socialist Left parties propose ODA increases in alternative 2018 budgets

In a proposal for an alternative state budget, the Norwegian Labour Party, which leads a five-party, left-wing opposition grouping, has advocated for an ODA increase of US$44 million. This would come in addition to a reallocation of US$25 million within the current ODA budget. The funding would be distributed accordingly:

  • UNHCR – US$12.4 million
  • IOM – US$12.4 million
  • Regional grant to Afghanistan – US$12.1 million
  • UNFPA – US$12.4 million
  • Women’s rights and equality, sexual/reproductive health – US$12.4 million
  • Refugee repatriation – US$7 million

The following cuts were also proposed:

  • Regional grant to Africa – US$12.1 million
  • Regional grant to North-Africa and Middle East – US$6 million
  • ODA to the Balkans – US$6 million

The Labour party is not allocating more funding to climate-related measures, and it endorses the current Conservative government’s climate budget. However, Norway's Socialist Left Party has proposed to increase the 2018 ODA budget by US$210 million, with an increased focus on women’s rights, and combating climate change and inequality. The Socialist Left highlighted the need for climate change to be combated through ODA, given that the world's poorest are hardest hit by its consequences. Their proposal also emphasizes the need to control tax evasion, claiming that it causes developing countries to lose out on approximately US$200 billion per year. 

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

News article- Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway

Norwegian government urges innovative partnerships to end hunger

At the Zero Hunger conference in Oslo, the Norwegian government encouraged the launch of more public-private partnerships in order to achieve SDG 2: ending hunger. These partnerships will be particularly important in sub-Saharan Africa, which currently imports US$40-50 million worth of food each year. 

The Norwegian government currently works on facilitating low-risk partnerships between private investors in new markets who can contribute to solving the needs of farmers. Norad, the Norwegian development agency, has previously held a call for proposals from NGOs and companies to solve reoccurring challenges within value chains in developing countries. The winning agri- and aquaculture proposals will be operational as of early 2018. 

Press release - Norwegian government 

Norway Agriculture Nutrition

Norway, Chile, and Peru successfully promote UN resolution on large-scale corruption

A new resolution on the prevention and abolition of large-scale corruption was adopted at a state party meeting of the UN’s Convention against Corruption held in Vienna. The resolution, originally promoted by Norway, Peru, and Chile, seeks to help developing countries build stable institutions and create effective social policies.

According to the UN, corruption, bribes, and tax evasion cost developing countries around US$1260 billion per year.

Press release - Government of Norway (in Norwegian)

Norway

Norway gives US$11 million for research on global development

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation have granted US$11 million in funding to 11 new research projects through the Norwegian Research Council's 'Norglobal-2' program. Norglobal-2 is solely dedicated to global development research, connecting priority development policy areas with the SDGs. This year's chosen research projects focus on a range of topics under global education; humanitarian assistance; conflict, security, and vulnerable states; and environment, energy, and climate change. 

Press release - Government of Norway (in Norwegian)

Norway