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Norway reverses US$281 million in cuts to development due to Ukraine crisis after pushbacks

The Norwegian governing parties (Labor Party and Center Party) along with their budget partner, the Socialist Left Party, have come to an agreement on a revised state budget for 2022, which includes a provision for the new development assistance budget. According to the Ministry of International Development, NOK2.5 billion (US$281 million) will be reallocated back to international development after pushback on the previously discussed reallocation of the development budget due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This initial reallocation of NOK4 billion (US$417 million) was directed toward in-donor refugee costs for Ukrainians fleeing the conflict.
 
Based on the updated revised budget, a total of NOK3.6 billion (US$405 million) has been reallocated back from the total budget during the negotiations between parties. Within the revised total budget reallocation, NOK2.5 billion (US$281 million) is related to international development. According to sources in parliament, these reallocations represent unusually large reversals on decisions compared to previous negotiations related to revised state budgets.

Previous cuts in funding to the following budget lines have been reversed entirely:

  • Human rights: funding through both civil society and to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) has been restored;
  • CSOs;
  • UN Women and Gender Equality;
  • Regional allocations to Afghanistan, Asia, and the Middle East; and 
  • Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Cuts in funding to the following budget lines have been reversed in part:

  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF): Of core support to UNDP and UNICEF, NOK390 million (US$44 million) and NOK308 million (US$35 million) have been reversed. Originally proposed cuts included NOK440 million (US$49 million) and NOK358 million (US$40 million);
  • Education: NOK300 million (US$34 million) has been reversed for education, compared to an original cut of NOK553 million (US$62 million);
  • Health: For health, NOK250 million (US$28 million) has been reversed, compared to an original cut of NOK470 million (US$53 million);
  • WHO: For the World Health Organization (WHO), NOK60 million (US$7 million) has been reversed, compared to an original cut of NOK118 million (US$13 million);
  • Africa: For the regional allocation to Africa, NOK220 million (US$25 million) has been reversed, compared to an original cut of NOK250 million (US$28 million); and
  • The Knowledge Bank: NOK200 million (US$22 million) has been reversed from a cut of NOK250 million (US$28 million); the 'Tax for Development; program will also be shielded from cuts in 2022. 

For the 'Stabilization of Countries in Crisis and War' budget line, the governing parties had originally proposed a cut of NOK140 million (US$16 million). At this point, the cut proposal has been maintained.

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Disagreement on Norwegian development assistance funding levels remains top issue in revised state budget

The Norwegian government and the Socialist Left Party are still negotiating the revised state budget for 2022. The chairman of the Finance Committee, Eigil Knutsen (Labor Party), said parties still disagree strongly on development assistance funding levels.  

Together with the Center Party's fiscal policy spokesperson Geir Pollestad, Knutsen met the Socialist Left Party's fiscal policy spokesperson Kari Elisabeth Kaski for a new round of negotiations on the revised national budget last week.

After the meeting, the development assistance budget was highlighted as one of the most difficult topics. The Parliament (Stortinget) is supposed to vote in the plenary about the revised budget on Friday, June 17, 2022. This will be the last meeting in the Parliament before the summer break. 

News article - Bistandaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway's reallocation of ODA budget will have major repercussions, says UNDP head

In the revised state budget, the Norwegian government proposed the reprioritization of NOK4 billion (US$425 million) from the development assistance budget to manage a potential refugee crisis due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The government proposed funding cuts for several international development organizations, including several UN agencies.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is one of the UN agencies hardest hit by the government's proposed cuts. According to the proposal from Norway, the funding towards UNDP will be cut by 95%, from NOK 464 million (US$49 million) to NOK 24 million (US$2 million). This includes the withdrawal of all core support, which is funding not linked to specific projects. 

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said in an interview that these kinds of cuts are destabilizing both for the organization and for its partners.

The government has also met criticism from several other actors. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre to express his concern. The Socialist Left Party, the government's budget partner, and the Labor Party's own youth organization have also criticized the move. In a response to the revised budget, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions expressed that they stand against cuts in funding for international development. 

Critics are especially concerned that Norway's budget cuts could lead to a domino effect in which other donor countries could be more likely to pull in-country refugee costs from their core international development budgets. Steiner said that if a country like Norway decides to reduce its funding, it is more likely that others will follow. The Netherlands followed in Norway's path recently, signaling that it will reallocate US$150 million from its ODA budget for in-country refugee costs.

News article – Aftenposten (in Norwegian)
 

Norfund gains approval to manage Climate Investment Fund

On May 23, 2022, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee at the Norwegian Parliament unanimously approved altering the amendments in the Norfund Act to make it possible for Norfund to manage Norway's new Climate Investment Fund. Norfund is the Norwegian Investment Fund for low- and middle- income countries.

The new fund is described as Norway's most important instrument for accelerating global energy transition by investing in renewable energy in low-income countries with large emissions and moving away from fossil power production. Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development, said that the new investment fund is the most essential remedy for accomplishing the government's ambition to double annual global climate financing. 

According to Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO of Norfund, the new Climate Investment Fund will leverage US$10 for each dollar invested to maximize effectiveness; eliminate more than 14 million tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to 30% of Norway`s annual emissions; and finance 9 gigawatts of new renewable energy. 

According to instructions from the government and parliament, funding from the Climate Investment Fund can be used “in all ODA-approved countries”, which includes countries approved in accordance with OECD DAC guidelines. However, Thorleifsson from Norfund says that his organization chose to prioritize eight countries to benefit from the fund's existing network and expertise. The eight prioritized countries are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, and South Africa. Norfund has identified investment opportunities for more than NOK8 billion (US$831 million). 

News article – Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Despite falling short of expectations, Second Global COVID-19 Summit mobilizes US$3.2 billion in new pledges, establishes new World Bank fund

Global leaders pledged an additional US$3.2 billion in new and additional funding during the second Global COVID-19 Summit, which took place virtually on May 12, 2022. The meeting included commitments related to COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) in addition to licensing, reducing the price of oral antiretrovirals, and the creation of a fund to prevent future pandemics to be housed within the World Bank.

A country-by-country breakdown can be found in our recent Commentary

Advocates criticize Norway for development budget reprioritization in response to Ukraine crisis

The Norwegian government is proposing a record-high development assistance budget of NOK44.9 billion (US$4.5 billion). On May 12, 2022, the government published the revised state budget, indicating the intent to increase the development assistance budget by NOK3.6 billion (US$366 million), to NOK44.9 billion (US$4.5 billion) total, corresponding to a 1.09% ODA/GNI ratio for 2022.
 
The government will increase funding to Ukraine and its neighboring countries by NOK1.75 billion (US$178 million), meaning that Norway will contribute at least NOK2 billion (US$203 million) in response to the Russian invasion. In addition, the government allocated 50% of the increase - NOK 1.8 billion (US$183 million) - to in-country refugee costs in Norway, which has been met with heavy criticism. 

The government also proposed the reprioritization of NOK4 billion (US$407 million) within the development assistance budget to finance increased refugee expenditure in Norway. This move aligns with OECD regulations, but advocates are increasingly concerned. The funding will draw from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Climate and Environment. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will have to cut NOK3.6 billion (US$366 million) and the Ministry of Climate and Environment, NOK300 million (US$30 million).

According to the revised budget, the follwing thematic areas and organizations will be affected by the reprioritization:

  • Afghanistan: NOK60 million (US$6 million);
  • Gender equality: NOK65 million (US$7 million);
  • UN Organization for Rights and Equality (UN Women): NOK75 million (US$8 million);
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): NOK99 million (US$10 million);
  • World Health Organization: NOK118 million (US$12 million);
  • Human rights: NOK136 million (US$13 million);
  • Stabilization of countries in crisis and war: NOK140 million (US$14 million);
  • Civil society: NOK208 million (US$21 million);
  • Africa, regional allocation: NOK250 million (US$25 million);
  • The Knowledge Bank: NOK250 million (US$25 million);
  • United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef): NOK358 million (US$36 million);
  • United Nations Development Program (UNDP): NOK440 million (US$44 million);
  • Health: NOK470 million (US$47 million); and
  • Education: NOK553 million (US$56 million).

The only increased allocation in the development assistance as part of the reprioritization is funding towards food security, fish, and agriculture. The funding will be increased by NOK200 million (US$20 million) as a response to the impending global food crisis, which will be exacerbated by the Russian invasion.
 
Several Norwegian CSOs and international development advocates decried the revised budget. Henriette K. Westhrin, Secretary-General of Norwegian People's Aid indicated that it is incomprehensible that the government would consider cutting funding to the world`s poorest, especially since Norway is profiting immensly from the invasion. Secretary-General of Norwegian Church Aid, Dagfinn Høybråten, said that the cut could have major consequences for vulnerable people in low- and middle-income countries and could have a major domino effect on other donor countries' ODA. Secretary-General of Save the Children Birgitte Lange was similarly unimpressed with the development assistance budget cuts, highlighting that in the revised budget, for each seven dollars in development assistance, one will go to Norway rather than partner countries.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway disbursed US$4.2 billion in development assistance in 2021

Statistics, released on May 10, 2022, by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), demonstrate that Norway gave NOK40.1 billion (US$4.2 billion) in development assistance in 2021 - the highest amount in absolute terms in Norway's history. In addition, the number represents a NOK600 million (US$6.2 million) increase from 2020.

Norad manages 50% of Norwegian development assistance, which is equivalent to NOK20 billion (US$2.1 billion). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs manages 32% of the total funding, while the rest of the funding is managed by other ministries such as the Ministry of Climate and the Environment and Norwegian embassies in partner countries. 

In total, Norway gave NOK7.9 billion (US$822 million) in health-related funding in 2021. This number also includes core support for multilateral organizations. In 2021, NOK2.9 billion (US$301 million) was earmarked to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its respective consequences in low-income countries. Norway contributed 6.6 million COVD-19 vaccines, valued at NOK 380 million (US$39 million), according to the OECD.

The World Food Program (WFP), GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria received the largest increases in funding in 2021 for individual organizations.

NOK6.4 billion (US$666 million) of the development assistance in 2021 was targeted at climate-related funding in low-income countries. According to Norad, 16% of Norwegian funding was directed toward climate. 

Syria is still the single country receiving the most funding from Norway as a result of the ongoing humanitarian crisis due to the more than 10-year civil war. In 2021, Norway gave NOK895 million (US$93 million) in humanitarian assistance to Syria. In the 10-year period between 2012-2021, Syria received NOK7.4 billion (US$770 million) in funding. In 2021, Norwegian funding for humanitarian assistance equated to NOK6.6 billion (US$687 million). 

Multilateral organizations received 58% of all Norwegian funding in 2021. NOK12.6 billion (US$ 1.3 billion) went to the UN system, while NOK3.2 billion (US$333 million) went to the World Bank Group. CSOs received 23% of Norwegian development assistance. Among CSOs, Norwegian Refugee Council received the largest amount of funding, followed by the Norwegian Red Cross, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian People's Aid, and Save the Children Norway. 

Norad – Press release (in Norwegian)

Bistandsaktuelt – News article (in Norwegian) 

Canada contributes up to US$25 million to UN-affiliated BUILD Fund

Canada has committed up to CA$32 million (US$25 million) for the BUILD Fund, a blended impact investment vehicle to finance small and medium-sized businesses in low-income countries to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The Fund was established in partnership with the US, Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden, and the Nordic states through the Nordic Development Fund, and was announced at the UN Financing for Development Forum. The 6 member states have commited over US$60 million thus far.

Press release - UN Capital Development Fund

Norway failed to meet 2021 0.1% ODA/GNI target

Despite economic growth and Norway giving more money to humanitarian efforts than ever before, the government did not reach its target of giving 0.1% of its gross national income (GNI) to international development in 2021.
 
The OECD recently published its preliminary development funding figures for 2021. The figures showed that Norway's ODA levels fell by 11.6% compared to 2020. Despite increased support for pandemic control and Norway giving more than NOK40 billion (US$4.2 billion) in funding - its highest contribution ever - to international development, Norway's ODA total fell from 1.11% of GNI in 2020 to 0.93% percent in 2021.

The government has promised to keep development assistance at one percent of GNI. However, in 2021 Norway fell short by NOK3 billion (US$339 million).

Revised figures from Statistics Norway (SSB) show that Norway's GNI grew by over 22% last year. The increased growth is mainly the result of record-high oil and gas prices towards the end of 2021 and the reopening of society during the COVID-19 pandemic. With high petroleum revenues as a result of the war in Ukraine, Norway's economy continues to grow, and the gap between economic growth and funding levels for international development may persist into 2022.

However, Norwegian ODA levels relative to GNI are still the second-highest among OECD donors, bested only by Luxembourg.

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norwegian Foreign Minister announces International Solar Alliance membership during India visit

During an official visit to India last week, Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced that Norway will become a member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). ISA works to increase the global use of solar energy. The alliance focuses on targeting Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

ISA is a global platform consisting of private and public sector organizations, civil society, multilateral development banks (MDBs), development financial institutions (DFIs), and other international institutions.

Huitfeldt highlighted that Norway plays an active role in efforts to increase access to clean energy and combat the climate crisis. Norway sees ISA as an important arena for strengthening collaboration and political cooperation on solar energy solutions. 

Norway and India have a long tradition of collaboration, especially on environmental protection and climate change. Huitfeldt says that Norway`s participation in the ISA will strengthen cooperation with India.
 

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Norway to focus on food security, food prices, inclusive food systems, following 2022 Spring Meetings

Between April 20 - 22, 2022, Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim participated in the 2022 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG). Key topics discussed were climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the global effects of the war in Ukraine. 

Minister Tvinnereim aimed to focus on food security and how to build sustainable and inclusive food systems. The World Bank's efforts on health, climate, pandemic preparedness, and solutions to handle debt in low-income countries were also discussed. 

Tvinnereim spoke at meetings focusing on how to finance food security and inclusive food systems, as well as an event marking three years of contributions to the Global Financing Facility (GFF). GFF is the main channel of Norwegian funding, which targets maternal, reproductive, child, and adolescent health and nutrition. 

In a press release from the Ministry, Tvinnereim underlined that the World Bank is one of Norway`s most important partners in reducing poverty, building food security, and meeting other global challenges. In 2021, Norwegian funding through the World Bank Group was estimated at around US$504 million (NOK4.6 billion). US$118 (NOK1.1 billion) of the total amount was directed towards IDA, the International Development Association. 

More information on the IMF and World Bank's 2022 Spring Meetings can be found in this Donor Tracker Commentary

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (only in Norwegian)

Norway provides largest ODA level yet in 2021, at US$4.5 billion

According to the latest figures from the OECD, Norwegian funding for international development increased in 2021. The main reason is increased support for low-income countries in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Norway is one of few donor countries reaching the goal of contributing 0.7 % of GNI to ODA. In addition to Norway, Sweden, Germany, and Luxembourg reached the target in 2021. The total amount of Norwegian development funding reached US$4.5 billion (NOK40.1 billion) in 2021. In Norwegian Krone, this is the highest level of funding to ever come from Norway. In comparison, Norway gave US$4.4 billion (NOK39.5 billion) in development funding in 2020. 

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development, is proud of Norway for providing more development funding than ever before. She argues that the pandemic has made it more important to provide this high-level funding. She states that the government going forward will look at how future development budgets can address challenges, such as climate change and poverty. 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs
News article – Bistandsaktuelt (Only in Norwegian) 
 

Temporary pause in Norwegian international development payments lifted after 2 weeks

On March 16, 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to stop payments for all Norwegian development assistance funding because the government wanted a better overview of the potential consequences of the crisis in Ukraine; the temporary pause was lifted on March 30, 2022.

The initial decision to put all development funding on hold was criticized by several Norwegian development organizations. Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, criticized the management of Norwegian foreign policy and development assistance. Despite the worsening situation in Ukraine, other communities and countries are still in need of development assistance, Egeland highlighted.

The day after the announcement, March 17, 2022, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development, clarified that not all payments were stopped temporarily. Only funding towards the largest multilaterals, such as the World Bank and the UN, were put on hold. 

Last week, on March 30, 2022, Tvinnereim announced that the temporary pause in funding was lifted. As such, payments of all international development money will continue as normal. However, during the last two weeks of March, several payments were planned for distribution.

Even though the decision was criticized by parties in the opposition and by civil society, Minister Tvinnereim argued that the decision was necessary due to the uncertainty associated with the war in Ukraine.

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)  

Female Foreign Ministers call on Taliban to let girls go to school

Liz Truss, the UK Foreign Minister issued a joint statement along with other 18 other female foreign Ministers from around the world, calling on the Taliban to live up to their commitment and allow girls in Afghanistan to go to secondary school.  

The statement which was co-signed by the Foreign Ministers of Albania, Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Kosovo, Libya, Liechtenstein, Malawi, Mongolia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Tonga, highlighted the Ministers' deep concerns that girls in Afghanistan were denied their right to attend secondary school this spring. The statement urged the Taliban to adhere to international conventions and to stop denying girls their right to education.

Joint Statement – UK government

Norway could use development assistance budget to finance domestic intake of Ukrainian refugees, says Støre

At a press conference about the war in Ukraine and its consequences for Norway, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre discussed the allocation and use of the Norwegian development assistance budget; Støre did not exclude using the development assistance budget for the domestic financing of Ukrainian refugees. 

The conference followed Denmark's decision to finance Ukrainian refugees arriving in the country with money from the Danish development assistance budget. 

Norway may do the same, and according to Støre, there is agreement within the government that money from the development assistance budget may be spent on Ukrainian refugees. Støre has previously said that Norway would be able to accept up to 100,000 refugees from the war in Ukraine.

However, Støre emphasized that the allocation of money from the development assistance budget will be decided on in the revised state budget and that more details about the financing of Ukrainian refugees will come soon.

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

News article - NRK (in Norwegian)

Norway temporarily suspends payments to multilateral organizations, reallocates money within humanitarian budget for Ukraine

According to Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development, Norway has decided to temporarily suspend its payments to multilateral organizations due to the war in Ukraine. The suspension originally covered all payments from Norad, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation; however, Minister Tvinnereim has decided to reverse the decision and impose a temporary suspension on all development assistance payments.

The instruction to temporarily suspend payments only applied to multilateral organizations such as the World Bank and the UN. Hege Hertzberg, Deputy Secretary-General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it is unclear whether it will be necessary to re-prioritize within the development assistance budget; however, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Norad to postpone new payments until they have a better overview of the situation in Ukraine.

Norway decided to allocate NOK2 billion (US$228 million) in funding for the crisis in Ukraine. However, in a written answer to the Parliament, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt, said that the government will allocate NOK1.8 billion (US$200 million). The remaining NOK250 million (US$20 million) will be covered within the existing humanitarian budget. The Ministry has made it clear that the announced humanitarian funding towards Ukraine will not come at the expense of other long-term development efforts and humanitarian crises. 

However, former Minister of International Development, Dag Inge Ulstein (Christian Democratic Party) criticized the Government`s decision to take money from the humanitarian budget. He says it is an unjustifiable policy to reduce humanitarian funding, especially since low-income countries are trying to rebuild themselves after the pandemic. Low-income countries are also facing a famine crisis and other crises due to the war in Ukraine. 

News article - Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian)

News article - Vårt Land (in Norwegian)

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norwegian Climate Investment Fund makes first investment of US$24 million, prioritizes renewable power in South Africa

Last year, the Norwegian government decided to allocate US$1.1 billion (NOK10 billion) over a period of five years to a new fund investing in renewable energy in low-income countries, the Norwegian Climate Investment Fund. The aim of the fund is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

US$223 billion (NOK2 billion) will be provided to the Norwegian Climate Investment Fund annually over a period of five years. The funding will come from the national budget and from Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, which will administer the fund.

The Norwegian Climate Investment Fund confirmed its first investment, which will finance solar and wind power in South Africa. More specifically, Norfund has invested US$24 million (NOK217 million) in the South African company, H1, which invests in renewable infrastructure and projects providing clean energy solutions in South Africa. H1 is a Black Economic Empowerment (BBE) company, which requires 49% local ownership and 30% black ownership in investment projects and affiliated companies. 

Norfund's British sister fund, British International Investment (formerly known as CDC), also contributed to H1; the funding will finance solar and wind power projects creating 2.4 GW of gross renewable capacity in South Africa. According to Nordfund, the annual production of 6,400 GWh per year will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 6.2 million tons annually. To put it in perspective, this reduction corresponds to 12.5 % of Norway`s annual GHGs. 

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norwegian Minister of International Development, says that the fund will be fully operational in June this year, highlighting that the fund will be Norway`s most efficient tool to help accelerate the global clean energy transition. 

Press release - Norfund

News article - E24 (in Norwegian)

Norway doubles funding to IFAD, deprioritizes education in favor of food security

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norwegian Minister of International Development prioritized food security, sustainable small-scale production, and climate-smart agriculture within Norwegian international development policy, specifying that the government will increase funding to agriculture. As part of this priority, Norway decided to double its funding to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

The previous Norwegian government decided to increase funding to IFAD by 40%. Under Tvinnereim, Norway will double its funding an 80% increase above original levels. The increase consists of NOK648 million (US$72 million) in funding over the next three years. In total, funding towards IFAD has increased by US$57 million (NOK518 million). 

The increase in agriculture funding was accompanied by a decrease in the forecasted funding increase for education, indicating a clear shift in policy priorities toward food security. The previous government prioritized education in international development policy.

Tvinnereim stated that the current government does not plan the same forecasted increase. However, she pointed out that Norway will not shy away from obligations, but that the government wants to focus on food security and agricultural development. She also pointed out that the World Bank has argued that agricultural funding is effective and important.

News article – Nationen (in Norwegian)

Norway increases support to Ukraine, provides humanitarian assistance, military equipment

The Norwegian government decided to allocate up to US$221 million (NOK2 billion) in funding for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. Norway previously provided US$28 million (NOK250 million) in humanitarian assistance to due to the ongoing conflict; funding so far has been allocated to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund. 

The newly announced funding to Ukraine will be given to humanitarian actors based in the country targeted towards helping the most vulnerable people, including children. More specifically, the funds will be allocated to humanitarian activities led by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Norwegian humanitarian organizations, the UN, and to neighboring countries receiving refugees. Norwegian support is characterized as flexible funding, meaning that it will be allocated areas with the greatest need.  

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

22,000 new seeds placed in Svalbard Global Seed Vault, enhancing food security

Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim and Minister of Agriculture and Food Sandra Borch traveled to Svalbard where over 22,000 new seed samples from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand were deposited in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on February 14, 2022. 

The Seed Vault protects over 1 million food and agriculture seed samples globally; The vault is the world's largest of its kind and has the most diverse collection of seeds globally. Depositing new seeds in the Vault is important for enhancing global food security for the future. The vault serves as insurance for current and future food supplies. 

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was established and is owned by Norway. Its operation is managed in a partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Crop Trust, and the Nordic Genetic Resource Centre (NordGen).

Press release - Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Foreign Affairs