Policy Updates

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Donor Tracker to host webinar on donors’ international COVID-19 response following Global Goal Summit pledges

On July 2, 2020, from 16:00-17:00 (CEST), Donor Tracker will host a second webinar on donor countries’ international COVID-19 responses following the Global Goal Summit. The Summit, held on June 27, raised US$6.9 billion for developing globally accessible COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments.

The Donor Tracker's expert team will analyze the Summit's outcomes and discuss implications for donor countries’ further international responses to the pandemic.

Registration - Zoom 

Norway pledges US$9 million at Global Goal Summit

The international organization Global Citizen and the European Commission co-hosted the Global Goal Summit on June 27, 2020 as part of a global campaign to coordinate the development of COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines and to ensure equitable access to treatment for all people.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg attended the summit and pledged NOK 100 million (US$9 million). The funding will go to Gavi’s COVID-19 Global Vaccine Access Facility (Covax Facility), which is working to ensure universal vaccine access. 

Through its commitment to establishing and supporting the vaccine coalition, Cepi, and through its contribution to Gavi, the vaccine alliance, Norway has proven itself a driver for equitable global vaccine access.

Press release – Norwegian Government (in Norwegian)

Norad report evaluates Norway's efforts to focus ODA on narrower thematic and geographic priorities

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) recently released a report evaluating the geographical and thematical concentration of Norway's Official Development Assistance (ODA). The evaluation is based on a political decision from 2013, in which the government, led by Foreign Minister Børge Brende, determined that Norway would increase the geographical and thematic concentration of its ODA. The aim of the resolution was to more clearly define Norway's goals and priorities while encouraging more cost-effective ODA-management. 

Between 2012 and 2017, Norway's ODA became more concentrated on a smaller number of partners and agreements; the number of development contracts declined rapidly while the volume of ODA increased. Nonetheless, the report concludes that no substantial geographic or thematic concentration of Norway's ODA spending was achieved.

Article – Norad (in Norweigan)

Norway wins bid for UN Security Council seat

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York has elected new members to the UN Security Council for the period 2021–2022. Norway was elected with 130 votes in the Western European and Others Group. 

Norway has been a strong financial and political supporter of the UN's work for peace, development, and human rights since its establishment. The Norwegian government has announced that they intend to give special priority to efforts aimed at strengthening the protection of civilians — including children — and at promoting women’s role and participation in international peace and security work. Furthermore, they wish to bring more attention to how climate change affects international peace and security.

Norway has been a member of the Security Council four times before, the last time in 2001-2002, and has experience from many years of engagement in peace and reconciliation efforts globally. 

Press release – Norwegian Government

Norway takes part in two international COVID-19 vaccine development initiatives

Norway is now participating in two international initiatives for the development of vaccines in the fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance and the Global Covid-19 Vaccine Procurement Facility (Covax).

The Inclusive Vaccine Alliance, which recently invited Norway to join as a member, is a coalition of European countries working to support the development and production of COVID-19 vaccines and to secure an adequate amount of vaccines for both European countries and low-income countries. The alliance was founded by France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and is supported by the European Commission. 

Norway will also be taking part in the Global COVID-19 Vaccine Procurement Facility (Covax). Covax is a worldwide funding mechanism which will ensure fair access to Covid-19 vaccines for all countries. 

Press release – Norwegian Government 

Norway pledges US$1 billion at Gavi’s Global Vaccine Summit: 30% increase from 2015 pledge

At the Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in London on June 4, 2020, Norway pledged US$1 billion for the period of 2021-2025. This represents a 30% increase from Norway’s most recent pledge to Gavi in 2015 of US$771 million for the period of 2016-2020. Norway was represented at the event by both Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Minister of Development Dag Inge Ulstein.   

“We know from our own experience that investing in vaccines is one of the best public health investments we can make," Solberg said in her address. "Norway was one of the founders of Gavi 20 years ago. We believed, and still believe, in the vision and mission to improve the world, one vaccine at a time.” 

Speech transcript - Government of Norway

At Gavi's Global Vaccine Summit, world leaders exceed funding target with historic US$8.8 billion

Representatives of 52 countries, including 35 heads of state, joined the June 5, 2020, Global Vaccine Summit, convened by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to raise a total of US$8.8 billion in financing for childhood immunizations and vaccine infrastructure. World leaders, meeting with representatives of 12 organizations and corporations for the London-based pledging moment, hoped to reach a US$7.4 billion funding target. By the time the pledging ended, the target had been overshot by US$1.4 billion.

Against the backdrop of a still-raging COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and laid waste to the global economy, attendees of the summit spoke passionately about the need for global cooperation and solidarity in ensuring that a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, once developed, be accessible to all.

The US$8.8 billion will support Gavi's campaign to vaccinate 300 million children in the world's poorest countries against diseases including diphtheria, polio, and measles by 2025. Disruptions to Gavi's regular immunization activities, caused by COVID-19, have endangered an estimated 80 million children under one year old. The funding will also bolster Gavi's efforts in strengthening health systems in low-income states which have been ravaged by the pandemic and will help build out infrastructure to support the eventual provision of a vaccine against the virus.

A further US$567 million was also raised for 'Gavi Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines' (Gavi Covax AMC), a new financing instrument designed to provide access to the eventual COVID-19 vaccine specifically in low- and middle-income countries.

“To beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs more than breakthrough science. It needs breakthrough generosity,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “...When COVID-19 vaccines are ready, this funding and global coordination will ensure that people all over the world will be able to access them.”

Press release - Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Norwegian civil society receives payouts worth US$413 million to support on-the-ground work in low-income countries

Norwegian civil society organizations (CSOs) are now receiving payouts amounting to NOK4.3 billion (US$413 million). This is the largest total amount ever allocated to Norwegian CSOs. The funding aims to support civil society in low-income countries and strengthen their capacity to promote development in their own countries. The UN Sustainable Development Goals and the strong belief that no one should be left behind are guiding principles for the cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CSOs. 

In recent years, numerous countries have introduced restrictions making it challenging for CSOs to carry out their work. As a result, the Norwegian government has prioritized partnerships with Norwegian organizations that have solid local networks and which collaborate with other organizations. Each organization went through a diligent application process to be recognized as a partner to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Press release – Norwegian Government (in Norwegian) 

Climate adaption and food security are crucial to surviving pandemic, says Norwegian Development Minister

Norwegian Minister of Development Dag-Inge Ulstein and former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote about international cooperation in a joint op-ed in connection with the launch of a new report from Ban Ki-Moon’s Global Center on Adaptation. The report, released on May 22, 2020, focuses on how increased efforts towards climate adaptation and food security will be an effective measure to limit the effects of the pandemic and on reconstruction.  

According to the op-ed, the pandemic is accelerating the risk of a global hunger pandemic in two ways. With lockdowns in place, some are families are not in a financial situation to access food, even where it is still available. While schools are closed, 370 million children all over the world are robbed of their primary daily meal. In 2020, Norwegian official development assistance (ODA) for climate adaptation and the fight against hunger increased by NOK 500 million (US$48 million).  

Opinion piece – Norwegian Government  

Press release – Norwegian Government (in Norwegian)  

Norway's Solberg doubles down on vaccine solidarity, says no single country should have distribution rights

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed in an interview that Norway is making no attempts to secure contracts or buy companies developing COVID-19 vaccines. She emphasized the work that is being done to build an alliance that will work for fair distribution of the vaccine and that the Norwegian government sees the importance of manufacturing the vaccine in several countries to ensure that no single country is in sole possession of the distribution.  

Referring to the role of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Solberg stated that she believes that global cooperation is key to ensure that low-income countries have access to the new technology.

News article – Dagsavisen (in Norwegian) 

Norway pledges US$1.3 billion at Coronavirus Global Response conference

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg co-chaired the Coronavirus Global Response pledging conference, hosted by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. At the summit, Solberg announced several new contributions totaling to NOK 13 billion (US$1.3 billion) for global pandemic responses. The largest pledge was US$ 1 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for the period 2021-2030. She pledged a further NOK 50 million (US$5 million) to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Solberg emphasized Norway’s intention to mobilize political support from other countries to accelerate equitable access to vaccines. Global systems that provide just access to vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics, she said, are at the core of the solution to the current pandemic.  

Press release – Norwegian Government 

Leaders of EU, Germany, Norway, France co-author op-ed on COVID-19 funding mobilization

In a joint open editorial published in the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, EU Commission President Ursula Von der Layen, EU Council President Charles Michel, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Soblong, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron launched a call to action to mobilize US$8 billion for vaccines, tests, and treatments for COVID-19.

Signatories of this open editorial reiterated the need for multilateral action and called upon governments (notably those of G20 countries), the private sector, and philanthropists to fill the gap in funding the global pandemic response.

The initiative sought to mobilize donors a few days before the May 4, 2020, virtual pledging event to mobilize funding for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) initiative. ACT was launched on April 24 under the leadership of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Op-ed - Le Journal du Dimanche (in French)

Norway signs new US$200 million agreement with Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Norway has signed a new agreement with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, amounting to NOK 2.04 billion (US$200 million) in support for the period 2020-2022. This is an increase of NOK 40 million (US$4 million) from the previous period.  

Since its establishment in 2002, the Global Fund has been one of the primary channels for Norwegian official development assistance to global health. Norway is the biggest donor to the fund, per capita.  

Press release – Norwegian Government (in Norwegian) 

Norway signs framework agreement with Norwegian Institute of Marine Research for knowledge sharing with low-income nations

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Norad, has signed a new framework agreement with the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research. Norwegian institutions have the expertise and longstanding experience in managing fisheries and marine resources that is often in demand by administrations in low-income countries; the new agreement will ensure access to this knowledge.

The agreement will mainly benefit two existing programs, 'Fish for Development' and 'Ocean for Development'. The aim of the Fish for Development Program is to create jobs, improve levels of food security, and to sustainably increase countries' income. The Ocean for Development Program aims to contribute to the sustainable reduction of poverty through support for the management of the sea and marine industries in low-income countries. 

Press release – Norwegian Government (in Norwegian) 

Norway reiterates call for global ceasefire

In a statement, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, renewed her support for a global ceasefire and stressed the need for greater focus on the needs of people over politics. Norway urged all actors involved in armed conflicts and situations of political crisis to work across divides and to ensure that economic sanctions do not impede humanitarian access or the provision of food, essential health supplies, and medical support.

The Minister encouraged all states to share information so that the global fight against the pandemic will not be affected by their respective sanctions while emphasizing the key role the UN plays in ensuring an effective, coordinated international response.

Press release – Norwegian Government

Norway announces support to International Organization for Migration for pandemic response for migrants in humanitarian crisis

Norway announced NOK 30 million (US$3 million) in financing for the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM is currently undergoing structural changes even as the pandemic puts additional pressure on IOM's work in over 100 countries. Norway is now contributing NOK 20 million (US$2 million) in core support to help IOM build capacity, strengthen essential competencies in its function as migration coordinator for the UN.  

In addition to the core contribution, NOK 10 million (US$900,000) is allocated to support IOM's humanitarian efforts to share information on the spread of the COVID-19 infection, provide health services, and access to clean water for vulnerable groups. The pandemic has dramatically worsened an already difficult situation for the people of countries and areas affected by humanitarian crises. Migrants and refugees are especially vulnerable to the virus and have a continuing need for protection and basic health services.  

Press release – Norwegian Government (in Norwegian)  

Norway's humanitarian budget reaches historic high

Norway’s humanitarian budget is at a record-high this year and large parts of the available NOK 5.5 billion (US$538 million) are now being allocated to specific groups. Organizations like the UN, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and several Norwegian humanitarian organizations will be receiving funds for their work on topics such as education and civillian protection in crisis areas.

Syria, Yemen, and South Sudan are among the countries receiving the most Norwegian humanitarian support this year. Norway will also provide support to efforts to prevent sexual and gender-based violence and the protection of civilians from landmines and other explosives.

Because of the current global situation, an increased portion of the humanitarian budget is being held in reserve to enable quick response to pandemic-related needs as they arise during the year. Several countries may, therefore, receive additional support later in the year.

Press release – Norwegian Government

With Prime Minister as co-chair, Norway will play prominent role in early-May Coronavirus Global Response Summit

The Coronavirus Global Response Summit, to be held on May 4, 2020, is a virtual conference with the goal of mobilizing political and financial support to combat the current global pandemic. The conference will feature Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg as one of the co-chairs.

Norway intends to prioritize vaccine development and distribution through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Norway will also work for international support for collaboration to develop improved treatments and testing.

Norway has a long history of involvement in the area of global health and was central to the establishment of both CEPI and Gavi. The Norwegian government has, since the start of the pandemic, been involved at the international level to secure funding for CEPI’s work on vaccines.

Press release – Norwegian Government

Norway provides US$2 million in funding for distribution of COVID-19 test kits to low-income countries

Norway has announced a contribution of NOK 23 million (US$2 million) for test kits to detect the COVID-19 virus. The kits, which use a method derived from nuclear technology to identify the virus, will be made available to low-income countries as part of an effort coordinated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Testing is a crucial element of the pandemic response, and one that has been particularly challenging in low-income nations. The IAEA has received more than 100 pleas from member states for these testing supplies to help monitor and manage the pandemic.

The IAEA is a part of the UN Crisis Management Team on COVID-19.

Press release – Norwegian Government

24 foreign affairs ministers launch joint call for multilateral action on COVID-19

In a joint declaration, 24 ministers of Foreign Affairs from 24 countries, including France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Canada, Sweden, Mexico, Ethiopia, the Netherlands, and Norway launched a 'wake-up call for multilateralism' to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The signatories of this declaration are members of the Alliance for Multilateralism, an initiative founded by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian. This 'supra-regional network of like-minded states' aims to promote and support the values of the UN and to strengthen international cooperation. Member Ministers emphasized the need for further international cooperation instead of national retrenchment, considering the global dimension of the threat and urging governments to adopt a "co-operative, transparent, science-based and coordinated global response" to the pandemic.

Signatories committed to providing resources in support of the WHO’s COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI); Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; UNITAID; and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in order to assist the most impacted countries. They have called for other governments, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector to do the same.

Press release - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs