The Norwegian Minister of International Development, Dag-Inge Ulstein expressed his concern regarding the British government's plans to cut official development assistance (ODA) spending from 0.7% to 0.5% of gross national income in a written answer to Trine Skei Grande, a parliamentary representative from The Liberal Party. The letter came after a mid-April bilateral meeting between Norway and the UK in which Ulstein had also raised the issue.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world’s poorest countries the most profoundly. Ulstein highlighted that Britain’s cut in ODA spending could debilitate the development work being done in these countries, which depends on ongoing and increased support, particularly in the areas of food security, health, and education. The reduction would weaken the international work on sexual and reproductive health, Ulstein noted; the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA, is slated to lose 85% of its current UK funding.