Newly-released Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) numbers show that the Norwegian official development assistance (ODA) budget was at a record-high level at NOK39.5 billion (US$4.6 billion).
This accounts for 1.11% of gross national income (GNI) and is 0.11% higher than the goal of 1% of ODA/GNI. The increased funding was mostly allocated to global health, the collective international response to COVID-19, and humanitarian support.
The OECD points to Norway as one of the countries with the biggest increase in ODA in 2020 compared to 2019. According to the official numbers from the preliminary figures, Norway’s development assistance increased by 8% from 2019 to 2020 (adjusted for inflation).
Minister of International Development Dag Inge Ulstein emphasized that no one is safe before everyone is safe and that the increase of budget in this uncertain time has been a natural response. Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide said that Norway has shown a great degree of flexibility, which is critical in many of the current humanitarian crises.