Norway announces record-high 2019 funding to UN organizations

The Norwegian government is increasing its core contribution to the UN and providing an all-time-high contribution to six UN organizations. The contributions are as follows:

  • UNICEF: NOK 1 billion (US$126 million)
  • UNDP: NOK 615 million (US$74 million)
  • UNFPA: NOK 530 million (US$6 million)
  • UN Women: NOK 100 million (US$12 million)
  • UNHCR: NOK 380 million (US$46 million)
  • WFP: NOK 300 million (US$36 million).

These are the highest contributions Norway has given to these organizations collectively. The Norwegian government expects the funds to be spent in an efficient and transparent manner.

Press release - Norweigan government

Norway, Germany, and Ghana initiate cross-sectoral action plan to achieve SDG 3

Norway’s Prime Minister, the German chancellor, and the President of Ghana initiated a cross-sectoral action plan to achieve SDG3, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. The plans will be presented at the UN General Assembly in September, 2019. 

Report - Government website (in Norwegian)

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Norway releases report on role and support in multilateral cooperation

The Norwegian government has released a report on Norway's role in multilateral cooperation, a topic which is increasingly central to Norway's development assistance aims. The government sees multilateralism as crucial to delivery on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The white paper presents a five year perspective, and highlights good health and well-being as a high priority in Norwegian development cooperation. The report also calls for Norway to continue contributing to innovation in the multilateral system, taking a lead in efforts to solve new cross-border health challenges, and combining political leadership, expertise, funding, long-term perspective, and innovation to reach the SDGs.

In 2017, 54% of Norwegian development assistance was channeled through multilateral organisations: an increase from 43% in 2016.

Report – Norwegian government website (in Norwegian)


Norway launches action plan for sustainable food production systems

Five Norwegian ministers launched the government’s action plan for sustainable food production systems within the spheres of Norwegian foreign and development policies from 2019 to 2023. The plan emphasizes four different areas (food production, value creation and markets, nutrition and diet, policies and governance) that are to become the focus of Norway in its development work, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.                                                        

Action plan– Government website (in Norwegian)

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Norad report says Norwegian development assistance has unclear roles and responsibilities

The evaluation department of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) has released its annual report, which offers a sharp critique of Norad's operations, specifically regarding a lack of clarity surrounding roles and responsibilities in the administration.

According to the report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norad and Norwegian embassies often have different understandings of who is responsible to whom and for what. Much Norwegian development assistance is channeled through international funds, but it is often unclear who at the agency is responsible for these funds' results.

Norad evaluation department - Annual report (in Norwegian)


Norwegian education networks object to the use of development funding for for-profit schools

In a June 4, 2019 op-ed on the allocation of Norwegian funding for education, authors Gina Ekholt and Ingrid Rostad argued strongly against the direction of Global Partnership for Education (GPE) funds towards for-profit schools. Ekholt and Rostad, coordinator for Global Campaign for Education (GCE) Norway and acting managing director for Forum for utvikling og miljø (ForUM) respectively, represent two major education development networks.

The piece was published as part of an ongoing Norwegian national dialogue around education spending in the leadup to a decision to be made by GPE, expected June 11, 2019, that will dictate the organization's future policy on funding commercial education providers. GPE is a major recipient of Norwegian development financing. Norway has historically been recognized as a standard-bearer in global education development; Ekholt and Rostad urge Norwegian GPE board members to vote against funding for-profit schools and to encourage other board members to do the same.

Opinion piece - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway Education

Norwegian minister delivers report on digitization to UN Secretary General

The Norwegian minister for digitization, Nikolai Astrup, co-authored a report for the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on the global challenges and opportunities of digitization. The report comes as a follow-up to the 2018 high-level panel initiated by Guterres on digital cooperation, headed by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, with twenty executive members.

Astrup contributed to the report with a range of recommendations, including proposed guidelines for e-health services, digital education tools and access to the internet. The report also proposes the establishment of an alliance and platform for digital common goods.

Press release - Norwegian government (in Norwegian)


New OECD report recognizes Norway's commitment to development

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report on Norway's development policy highlights the commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Norway's levels of development assistance and commitments to reach the least developed countries. Norway was also recognized for its contributions to civil society, business development, the establishment of a 'Knowledge Bank' for cooperation, the evaluation of development assistance and Norway's humanitarian efforts. 

The report has 12 recommendations about what can be improved and recommends that Norwegian development assistance should be supported by a stronger organization with more strategic leadership and results, risk management, and knowledge.

Press release - Government of Norway


Norway announces its development policy priorities

On May 23, 2019, Norwegian development minister Dag-Inge Ulstein presented Norway's development assistance priorities for 2019 to parliament. Key priorities include the elimination poverty, meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and making human dignity the focal point of development approaches. According to Ulstein, partner governments will be key to implementing these goals. 

Thematic priorities, target countries, and cross-sectoral focus areas (including human rights, women's rights and gender equality, climate and environment, and anti-corruption) will remain unchanged. However, the Norwegian government has increased its focus on poverty reduction and development assistance to those who need it the most, and will therefore increasingly focus on least-developed countries (LDCs). 

Press release - Government of Norway (in Norwegian)

Norway commits additional NOK 1 billion (US$114 million) to fight sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian crises

Norway's commitment of NOK 1 billion (US$114 million) from 2019-2021 comes in addition to the NOK 200 million (US$24 million) earmarked in the Norwegian budget to fight sexual and gender-based violence. The announcement was made at a conference on May 24, 2019 in Oslo titled 'Ending Sexual and Gender-Based violence in Humanitarian Crises', where representatives from more than 90 countries and organisations were gathered. The conference was co-hosted by the governments of Norway, Iraq, Somalia, the United Arab Emirates, the UN, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. This is the first conference of its kind. 

Press release - Government of Norway (in Dutch)

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