Policy Updates

Each week, Donor Tracker's team of country-based experts bring you the most important policy and funding news across issue areas in the form of Policy Updates.

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Norway emphasizes security and international development as integrated policy areas at the Munich Security Conference

February 18, 2024 | Norway | Share this update

On February 18, 2024, at the annual Munich Security Conference, Norwegian Minister of Defense Bjørn Arild Gram and Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim emphasized how the Norwegian government sees security challenges intertwined with poverty and international development.

The ministers asserted that the defense policy and the international development policy together contribute to safeguarding Norwegian interests and national control. Both of them particularly highlighted food security as an example of the intersection between security and development assistance.

They noted that the war in Ukraine showed concretely how the security policy can directly affect food security and food prices in large parts of the world. The ministers noted that Russia has used food as a tool in its warfare by attacking Ukraine's grain exports while strengthening its export of grains and fertilizers to the African continent, which Gram and Tvinnereim described as having both development and security policy consequences. Gram and Tvinnereim underlined that food security must be seen as a geopolitical issue closely connected to the security policy.

Adresseavisa (in Norwegian)

Norway, Tanzania strengthen collaboration

February 16, 2024 | Norway, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems, Climate, Agricultural R&D | Share this update

On February 15 and 16, 2024, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan visited Norway for an official state visit, where the countries entered three new agreements on climate-adapted food production, soil health and research.

Norway and Tanzania have had a close collaboration for decades, with climate and food security being key focus areas.

Norway and Tanzania signed a cooperation agreement on climate-adapted agriculture and food security. Norway's efforts will support Tanzania's ambitions to produce 10% more food by 2030. In addition, the NIBIO and the TARI entered into a new agreement on soil health. NIBIO and TARI are slated to work together on methods to use less artificial fertilizer. Soil health is an important focus area for increasing food production and enhancing food security for smallholder farmers.

Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim underlined that a close collaboration around research has become increasingly important. She emphasized this as a founding reason for why the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences have entered into a new agreement on research collaboration.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Norwegian Church Aid calls for political parties to take greater development responsibility, initiative

February 12, 2024 | Norway, Nutrition, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On February 12, 2024, Norwegian Church Aid launched a report titled The West against the rest, which contained several development suggestions to Norwegian political parties as the parties draw up their programs for the 2025-2029 parliamentary period.

Norwegian Church Aid argued that, compared to most countries, Norway has a unique financial leeway considering its notable additional income from oil and gas sales following the war in Ukraine. As such, Norway has an opportunity and a special responsibility to contribute to worldwide development.

Norwegian Church Aid presented a variety of program proposals with the expressed hope that the political parties will take them into consideration.

The suggestions included:

  • Ensure that, as a general rule, investments in global common goods are financed outside the one percent. The investments should still be earmarked for development assistance for poverty reduction and emergency assistance;
  • Step up climate financing in line with Norway's fair climate responsibility;
  • Work on international regulations making it possible to collect illegal or illegitimate debts;
  • Support a tax convention in the UN;
  • Actively support free media, independent courts, and local civil society;
  • Step up work against GBV in areas of crises and conflict;
  • Invest a larger share of the Norwegian Oil Fund in low-income countries; and
  • Enshrine further measures to ensure that Norwegian weapons are not used in violation of humanitarian law and human rights.

As a response to these suggestions, both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party underlined that Norway must continue to be an international bridge builder. The SV called for more political solidarity.

Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide has promised that 1% GNI/ODA will still go to development assistance. The Conservative Party stated that, going forward, it would be imperative to discuss how Norway spends money allocated to international development, and the Norway must be more concerned about the results and effects of development assistance.

News article - Panorama nyheter (in Norwegian)

Norway indicates 'road map' for developmental assistance programs in Africa to be ready before summer 2024

February 5, 2024 | Norway | Share this update

On February 5, 2024, the Norwegian government announced that its 'road map' for development programs in Africa will be completed prior to summer 2024.

The plan is deemed significant by development advocates, particularly considering that Norway closed its embassies in Mali and Uganda in 2023. 16 years have passed since the previous public strategy for Norway’s relations with Africa.

Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beate Tvinnereim has met frequently with civil society and various diplomatic missions over the last year to take input. Norwegian State Secretary Bjørg Sandkjær emphasized the importance of developing partnerships between Norway and Africa in research, business, and civil society.

News article - Panorama (in Norwegian)News article - Panorama (in Norwegian)

Norfund joins partnership to launch climate-focused guarantee company to mobilize US$1 billion in climate finance

February 2, 2024 | Norway, UK, US, Climate | Share this update

On February 2, 2024, it was announced that Norad joined the partnership launching the GGC launched on the London Stock Exchange, alongside the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, USAID, the GCF, Prosper Africa and the FCDO's MOBILIST program.

The GGC will provide guarantees for institutional investors buying green bonds on the London Stock Exchange, as well as green bonds in the private credit market.

Norad has invested NOK52 million (US$5 million) in the GGC. By 2035, the GGC aims to mobilize US$5 billion in climate financing for partner countries. The launch comes as the IEA urges low- and middle- income countries to increase their investment in renewables by 700% to continue economic growth while limiting the effects of climate change.

News article - Panorama (in Norwegian)

Norway continues UNRWA funding to Gaza

January 29, 2024 | Norway | Share this update

On January 29, 2024, the Norwegian government announced that Norway will continue to fund the UNRWA for Palestinians in the Near East following allegations that 12 UNRWA staff took part in the October 7, 2023 attack by Hamas on Israel.

The statement is released against a backdrop of several other major donor countries having halted their support towards the UNRWA. Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide encouraged other donors to consider the humanitarian consequences of cutting support. He emphasized the difference between the actions of individuals and what the UNRWA stands for.

Norway continues to demand the immediate release of all hostages held in Gaza and has strongly condemned the attack on October 7.

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

Norway increases humanitarian assistance to Sudan by US$3 million

December 28, 2023 | Norway, Nutrition | Share this update

On December 28, 223, it was announced that Norway will increase humanitarian assistance to Sudan by US$3 million.

The announcement by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred to the UNWFP’s concerns about food security developments in Sudan in 2024. With the increase, the total humanitarian assistance provided by Norway to Sudan in 2023 amounted to approximately US$34 million.

Press release - Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sierra Leone, Brazil, Norway to lead new food systems alliance

December 16, 2023 | Norway, Nutrition, Agriculture, Agricultural R&D | Share this update

On December 16, 2023, it was announced at COP28 that Sierra Leone, Brazil, and Norway will take the lead of a new food systems alliance.

Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim called COP28 a breakthrough for food security. Tvinnereim stated that the alliance declaration on food systems is the single thematic declaration that received the largest number of signatories at the conference.

Press release - Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norad Director-General renews tenure

December 15, 2023 | Norway | Share this update

On December 15, 2023, it was announced that the Director General at Norad Bård Vegard Solhjell has received renewed tenure at the position.

The new term will be six years, starting from January 2024. Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim stated that Norad, during Solhjell's first term, has implemented important reforms to the guarantee schemes, especially the scheme for food safety.

News article - Panorama Nyheter (in Norwegian)

Norway pledges US$50 million to Amazon Fund

December 11, 2023 | Norway, Climate | Share this update

On December 11, 2023, Norway announced a pledge of US$50 million to the Amazon Fund, the first pledge to the fund from Norway since 2018.

Between 2009 and 2018, Norway contributed NOK8.3 billion (US$761 million) to the fund. The new funding is the result of budget negotiations between the government and the SV, which controls important seats in Parliament.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre called the impact of the fund important both for Brazil and the world, and credited Brazilian President Lula da Silva for his actions to re-launch the fund.

News article - Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (in Norwegian)

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