Norway to strengthen development cooperation with 16 countries

To more effectively use Norway's development assistance, Norway’s Development Minister, Nikolai Astrup, has announced a re-grouping of Norway's development partner countries into two categories:

  1. Long-term development partnerships, which encompass support on economic growth, job creation, and tax system advisory. This group includes Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  2. Stabilization partnerships, which comprise of conflict resolution assistance. This group includes Afghanistan, Mali, Niger, Palestine, Somalia and South Sudan.

According to Astrup, this grouping will better support knowledge sharing and resource management in partner countries, as well as progress towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Press release - Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Policy document - Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Norfund appoints new Managing Director

Tellef Thorleifsson, founder of technology venture Northzone, has been appointed new Managing Director of Norfund, Norway’s investment fund for developing countries. Norfund aims at fighting poverty through new private sector enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia. The organization has praised Thorleifsson’s adherence to its principles, his experience in social entrepreneurship, agribusiness in East Africa, as well as support to the municipality of Oslo and the Norwegian Venture Capital Union. He will assume office on October 1, 2018.

Press release - Norfund (in Norwegian)


Norway increases humanitarian support to Gaza in response to humanitarian crisis

Norway will provide NOK 15 million (US$2 million) in assistance to Gaza in response to the current humanitarian situation. Norway joins the UN, the EU, Egypt, and other partners in supporting the situation in the Gaza Strip.

The purpose of this support is to provide medicines, medical equipment, and to improve the capacity of hospitals in the Strip. The assistance will be delivered through the Red Cross and Norwac, the Norwegian Aid Committee. With this, Norway’s humanitarian support to Palestine in 2018 reaches NOK 59 million (US$7 million). 

News release - Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)


Norwegian Development Agency to provide NOK1.8 billion in support to civil society organizations

The Norwegian Development Agency (Norad) will provide large-scale support to seven Norwegian civil organizations with NOK1.8 billion (US$222 million) over the next five years. Norad is responsible for around 40% of Norway’s civil society assistance and is soon launching its new set of benchmark principles for development initiatives and partners. These principles are sustainability, inclusion, partnerships, legitimacy, accountability, cost effectiveness, and context sensitivity.

This time, recipients of Norad’s support include Caritas, the Rainforest Fund, the Students and Academics’ International Aid Fund, Digni, the LHL International Tuberculosis Foundation, Hello World, and Capacare. 

News article - Bistands Aktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway’s largest humanitarian organizations want development reform to strengthen professional and administrative capacity

Following a letter to Norway’s Development Minister, the country’s five largest humanitarian organizations (Norwegian People's Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council, Red Cross, Save the Children, and Norwegian Church Aid) have called for openness and active consultation of those who are affected by recent development reform, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norad, and recipient countries. They also called for learning from earlier evaluations and the 2004 reform, and a consultation process when the proposed text is drafted.

News Article - Bistands Aktuelt (in Norwegian)


Norway reaffirms support to Brazilian rainforest protection after milestone results

Support from Norway has been credited with reducing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon by 12% in 2017, more than in any other year in Brazil’s decade-long rainforest protection strategy. Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment, Ola Elvestuen, welcomed the news and encouraged increased cooperation with Brazil and other countries in rainforest protection. It is likely Norwegian funds for rainforest protection will increase in 2018.

News article- Bistands Aktuelt (in Norwegian)  

Norway Agriculture

Norway to support growth in developing countries through enhanced use of technology

Norway’s Minister of Development, Nikolai Astrup, has begun a strategy for large-scale support to developing countries through technology. After seeing the impact of Norwegian assistance on schools in Malawi, the Minister highlighted the potential of using technology as part of its development assistance.

He put forward that Norway, as a highly digitized nation, has to play an active role in the global 'digital revolution'. This, he said, will be done through the new digitization strategy which will focus on creating local business opportunities, and taking advantage of technology within the country. 

Speech - Norwegian Government (in Norwegian)


Norwegian government highlights need for global health ODA to not only treat diseases but work towards UHC

Norwegian Minister of Development Nikolai Astrup and Minister of Health Bent Høie have written about the need for Norway to not only give official development assistance (ODA) to countries in the fight against diseases but also build safe and accessible health services locally that support the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). This requires education and investments in health system strengthening, they write.

Website - Norwegian government (in Norwegian)

Norway's revised budget allocates funding to human rights and humanitarian assistance

The Norwegian government has presented its revised national budget for 2018. Parliament will now review it and make a decision by the end of June. The revised budget estimates a growth in the economy of 2.5% in 2018 and 2.6% in 2019. The government proposes the following in the revised budget: 

  • To increase support for civil society's international efforts to promote human rights by NOK10 million (US$1 million) to NOK370 million (US$44 million) in 2018. The increase will go to efforts in support of freedom of expression, freedom of belief, and freedom of life. 
  • To increase the humanitarian budget by NOK116 million (US$13 million) that will primarily go to the crises in Yemen, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
  • Reduce refugee costs in Norway with further NOK398 million (US$47 million). 
  • Support the Farm to Market Alliance with NOK10 million (US$1 million). 

State budget - Det Kongelige Finansdepartement (in Norwegian) 

Status of Norwegian development policy presented by Minister of Development

Norwegian Minister of Development Nikolai Astrup presented the annual update on Norwegian development policy to the Norwegian Parliament on April 26, 2018. Key highlights include: 

  • Sexual and reproductive rights are challenged by forces that may reverse the work to date. 
  • Good strategic partnerships are important to ensure good health and education for all.
  • The UN Sustainable Development Goals present a new approach to development and are very important. They will be the driver for the government's development policies. 
  • The five strategic priorities remain: education, health, climate, environment and renewable energy, job creation and business development, and humanitarian assistance. 

Speech - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)