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Norway’s Center Party Youth says government must take leading role in fight against global food shortages

The leader of the Center Party Youth has written an opinion piece on Norway's leadership against global food shortages.

The author writes that Norway has a responsibility to produce food to the extent of its ability, and to use its considerable resources to pursue a development assistance policy that contributes to increasing access to safe food. Furthermore, to ensure that resources are used well, international trade agreements must take into account variations in price levels between countries and other conditions.

A stronger focus on agricultural development assistance is important for Center Party's alternative state budget for 2020. States' ability to produce food for their own populations is a prerequisite for global stability. Therefore, the Center Party wishes to commit 10% of all Norwegian bilateral development assistance to be earmarked for agricultural purposes.

Op-ed – Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway Nutrition

Norwegian-led Ebola vaccine development named one of the decade's most important research findings

National Geographic has named the Ebola vaccine one of the decade's 20 most important scientific achievements. Testing of the Ebola vaccine was initiated in response to the major 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa which swept the region, taking 11,300 lives.

At that time, the vaccine had already been researched, but had not been tested on humans. In 2015, Norway was leading the testing of the vaccine in the field, and many lives were saved. John-Arne Røttingen, managing director of the Research Council of Norway, led the work and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was among the first to fund the project. The project was a collaboration between governments and private foundations.

Article – Forskning (in Norwegian)

Norway Global health Global health R&D

Norway contributes US$553 million to World Bank and African Development Bank funds

With the close of the replenishment negotiations for the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and the African Development Bank’s African Development Fund (ADF), Norway has provided a substantial contribution of over NOK 3 billion (US$332 million) to IDA and around NOK 2 billion (US$221 million) to the ADF for the period 2020-2022.

In line with Norwegian priorities, IDA will strengthen efforts against climate change, funding to regions affected by conflict and fragility, and support for vulnerable groups including the most difficult to reach, and those with disabilities. The fund will also increase efforts to strengthen poor countries' own ability to manage their foreign debt. Norwegian priorities are also well reflected in the negotiations on replenishment to ADF. Measures related to women and gender equality, climate, clean energy, and digitalization are prioritized.

Press release - Norwegian government (in Norwegian)

Norway

Norwegian medical team responds to deadly Samoan measles outbreak

Norway has dispatched an emergency medical team in response to the Samoan government declaration of a state of emergency regarding the country's escalating measles outbreak.  More than 4,000 cases of measles have been confirmed, with 60 deaths to date; 48 of these victims were children under the age of four. Samoa has a total population of just 200,000.

The Norweigian relief team is made up of doctors, nurses, public health experts, and logistics staff to assist in treatment and response coordination. The outbreak is still escalating, and there is a significant shortage of health workers, despite the fact that other countries in the region have sent health personnel in an attempt to alleviate the situation. 

The team was deployed by the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection, in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the Norwegian Directorate of Health, the four regional health authorities, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  

Press release - Norwegian government  

Norway Global health

Oslo's Safe Schools Declaration endorsed by 100 states

The Safe Schools Declaration, a product of the 2015 Oslo Conference on Safe Schools, has now been endorsed by 100 states across the world.

The Oslo Conference marked the beginning of a global commitment to provide safe education for children and young people in conflict-affected countries. The conference was catalyzed by attacks on thousands of students, teachers, and educational institutions by military forces, armed groups, and security forces. At the time, 28 million children worldwide were prevented from attending school due to armed conflict. 

Press release - Norwegian government 

Global Norway Education

Norway pledges US$1.1 billion to sexual and reproductive health at Nairobi Summit

The minister of development, Dag-Inge Ulstein, led the Norwegian delegation to the Nairobi Summit, which marked the 25th anniversary of the Cairo Action Program on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ICPD25).  

Norway is focused on sexual and reproductive health and had the most substantial financial commitment in Nairobi. Norway pledged to contribute NOK 10.4 billion (US$1.1 billion) to sexual and reproductive health and rights in the period 2020-2025. This includes NOK 760 million (US$83 million) for efforts to eliminate harmful customs for the period 2020-2023, as well as NOK 1 billion (US$109 million) to prevent sexual violence in humanitarian situations until 2021. 

9,500 delegates from 170 countries attended the conference. The participants represented authorities, civil society, the private sector, and professional communities.  

Press release - Norwegian government (in Norwegian)

Norway Global health

Norway launches first-ever strategy for fighting non-communicable diseases

Norway is the first country in the world to launch a strategy for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in developing countries. The guidance package is titled 'Better health, Better lives' and is set for the period 2020-2024. The strategy is based on the World Health Organization’s recommendations on how to prevent NCDs.  

Over 70 percent of deaths worldwide are caused by NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, respiratory disease, diabetes, and mental illness. These diseases are an important cause of premature death in low- and middle-income countries, but only 1-2% of the world’s total health investments today address NCDs. Norway is tripling its contributions to this purpose and will allocate NOK 200 million (US$21 million) for 2020 and increase funding towards 2024. 

The strategy addresses three main areas;   

  1. Strengthening primary health care services;
  2. Preventing risks in air pollution, tobacco, alcohol consumption, and unhealthy foods; and
  3. Strengthening the normative work and health information systems.

Press release - Norwegian government (in Norwegian)  

Norway Global health Global health R&D Nutrition

Norway increases support for sexuality education in partner countries

The Norwegian government has announced an additional NOK 75 million (US$8 million) to support comprehensive sexuality education in partner countries. Sexuality education can promote gender equality by enabling an inclusive learning environment and improving girls' school attendance. It can reduce stigma around menstruation and helps to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, and abortions.  

The funding will support the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (Unesco) global campaign on sexuality education and will be disbursed between 2019 and 2021. It will target four priority countries: Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and South Sudan. 

Press release - Government of Norway 

Norway Education Global health

Norway launches strategy to eliminate harmful practices

The Norwegian government has launched its International Strategy to Eliminate Harmful Practices as part of the global community's commitment to eliminating them by 2030 as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The new strategy sets out how the Norwegian Government will target its international activities to eliminate harmful practices between 2019 and 2023. The strategy calls for zero-tolerance on harmful practices and aims to defend global norms, including sexual and reproductive health and rights. It argues that fulfilling the rights of women and girls is a basic prerequisite for eliminating harmful practices.

Government strategy

Norway Education Global health

New director-general appointed to Norwegian development agency

Bård Vegar Solhjell has been appointed the new director-general of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).  Solhjell will leave his current position as secretary-general of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Norway. 

In addition to his experience with WWF, Solhjell previously held positions as minister of education and research (2007- 2009) and minister of the environment (2012- 2013). He has also served as deputy leader of the Socialist Left Party, as a member of the Norwegian parliament, and as state secretary at the office of the Prime Minister. 

Norad is an agency under the ministry of foreign affairs and is responsible for managing much of Norway’s assistance to low-income countries. In 2020, the agency will be responsible for administering NOK 17 billion (US$2 billion).  

Press release - Norwegian government

Norway