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 contributes US$37 million to UN human rights initiatives

June 25, 2024 | Norway | Share this update

On June 25, 2024, Norway announced a commitment, in partnership with OHCHR, of NOK394 million (US$37 million) to support the UN’s human rights efforts in response to global challenges, including war, authoritarian regimes, and food insecurity in 2024-2025.

The commitment included NOK6 million (US$567,000) in voluntary contributions to the Fund for Indigenous Peoples and the Fund for Victims of Torture. The funding will help OHCHR respond quickly to new crises where human rights are threatened, reinforcing Norway’s role as a key donor to UN human rights efforts.

Press release - Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norway supports initiative for African vaccine production

June 20, 2024 | Norway, Global Health | Share this update

On June 20, 2024, during the Gavi Investment Opportunity and AVMA launch in Paris, Norway announced a contribution of NOK274 million (US$26 million) to increase vaccine production in African countries.

Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim emphasized that local and regional vaccine production enhances preparedness and strengthens health systems in LICs, ensuring the right to basic healthcare services.

Tvinnereim described Norway's contribution as an investment that could benefit Norway and other donors by enhancing global pandemic preparedness. She noted more countries capable of producing safe vaccines could accelerate response to future pandemics.

News article - Panorama nyheter (in Norwegian)

Norway commits additional US$9 million to support UNRWA

June 17, 2024 | Norway | Share this update

On June 17, 2024, Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim announced that Norway will increase its support to UNRWA by NOK100 million (US$9 million) amid the organization's financial difficulties due to the ongoing war in Gaza.

The support is in addition to the NOK275 million (US$26 million) contributed earlier in 2024.

Tvinnereim emphasized the importance of Norway’s increased support, highlighting UNRWA as the backbone of the humanitarian response in Gaza. Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister Espen Barthe Eide stressed UNRWA's role in delivering essential humanitarian assistance, including health care and education, as crucial for maintaining a world order based on international law and represents the international community's commitment to Palestine refugees.

Press release - Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norway commits five-year funding to CSOs for food security in Africa

June 13, 2024 | Norway, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems, Climate, Gender Equality | Share this update

On June 13, 2024, Norway announced a commitment of NOK1 billion (US$94 million) to support CSOs working to enhance food security in six African countries.

The funding aims to bolster local food production, preserve local seeds, and increase yields for smallholder farmers, particularly in regions vulnerable to food insecurity. Norway’s initiative emphasizes gender equality, aiming to reduce the food insecurity gap and enhance economic opportunities for women farmers.

Norad received 200 concept notes, from which 12 organizations were invited to submit full proposals. The proposals were assessed by experts and five were awarded support for five years. The selected organizations work in Niger, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. The projects were listed as:

  • The Royal Norwegian Society for Development in collaboration with NORCAP: Focus on rice production in Tanzania and cashew farming in Mozambique, received NOK200 million (US$19 million);
  • Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada: Integration of agriculture and aquaculture in Malawi, received NOK170 million (US$16 million);
  • PELUM Uganda: Development and conservation of local seed varieties in Uganda, Malawi, and Niger, received NOK175 million (US$17 million);
  • SNV: Increase production of various crops and enhance farmer income in Tanzania, received NOK200 million (US$19 million); and
  • Stichting IDH: Collaboration with the private sector to boost smallholder production and local food processing in Tanzania and Ethiopia, received NOK255 million (US$24 million).
Press release - Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norwegian development minister attends humanitarian summit on Gaza

June 10, 2024 | Norway | Share this update

On June 10-11, 2024, Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim visited Jordan to attend a summit addressing the humanitarian needs in Gaza.

The meeting, hosted by King Abdullah of Jordan, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, discussed the international community's response to Gaza's crisis after eight months of war. Tvinnereim emphasized the critical need for international development assistance to reach those most affected and for increased humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

Tvinnereim also met with Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Jordan, as well as with Jordan's Planning Minister, UN representatives, and other humanitarian organizations working in the region.

News article - Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Norad introduces new model for CSO partnerships

May 27, 2024 | Norway, International development | Share this update

On May 27, 2024, Norad introduced a new model for strategic partnerships with large CSOs that meet certain criteria for volume, systems, capacity, and competence, to be known as the Plusspartner model.

The model has been approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be implemented by Norad. It is designed to facilitate more flexible, trust-based, and strategic cooperation between Norad and civil society organizations receiving funding. A preliminary assessment will give the organization the right to submit simplified applications, receive more general follow-up, and greater financial flexibility. The status lasts for five years before potential renewal.

The partnership is intended to free up resources in Norad and among organizations to be used for strategic dialogue and a strengthened focus on knowledge on effective development assistance, innovation, and the testing of new approaches.

The key goals of the model are to:

  • Streamline management in Norad and among partners;
  • Make development assistance more knowledge-based, flexible, and innovative; and
  • Differentiate management by giving large and solid partners more trust in the implementation of measures based on prior assessments.

The first seven organizations included in the Plusspartner from an initial pool of 29 applicants are Norwegian Refugee Council, Save the Children, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian People's Aid, Norway, the Strømme Foundation, and ADRA Norway. Norad Director General Bård Vegar Solhjell noted that that more organizations can become Plusspartners when new applications are assessed.

Press release - Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (in Norwegian)News article - Panoramanyheter (in Norwegian)

Norwegian government proposes increased support to Ukraine, Palestine in revised budget

May 14, 2024 | Norway, International development, Global Health, Climate | Share this update

On May 14, 2024, Norwegian government announced that it will increase support for Ukraine and Palestine in the proposed revised state budget for 2024 by NOK1 billion (US$92 million) each.

In addition, the budget will receive a further NOK100 million (US$9.2 million), making 2024 development assistance budget Norway's second-largest ever, corresponding to 0.98% ODA/GNI. The additional support to Ukraine and Palestine will be channeled through the UN, the Red Cross, and Norwegian humanitarian organizations.

In order to increase the funding to Ukraine and Palestine and to cover increased refugee expenses in Norway, the government is reallocating NOK1.6 billion (US$148 million) from other parts of the development assistance budget. The government proposed a reallocation from the health (NOK125 million; US$11.6 million), climate (NOK171.6 million; US$16 million), and civil society (NOK185 million; US$17 million) sectors.

The state guarantee scheme for renewable energy in LICs will also be postponed until 2025. The government underlines that the proposed reprioritization will not entail a breach of existing agreements.

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

Norwegian Prime Minister to co-host clean cooking summit

May 14, 2024 | Norway, Nutrition, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems, Global Health, Gender Equality | Share this update

On May 14, 2024, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the president of the ADB Group, and the executive director of the International Energy Agency co-hosted the Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa.

The aim of the summit was to emphasize 2024 as a turning point for progress on ensuring clean cooking access for all.

Støre noted that nearly four in five Africans cook their meals over open fires and traditional stoves, using wood, charcoal, animal dung, and other polluting fuels that have severe impacts on health, gender equality, and the environment. Women and children are especially affected. Støre announced that Norway will support the financing of clean cooking with more than NOK500 million (US$46 million).

Press release - Norwegian government (in Norwegian)

Norway invests in research, knowledge sharing to improve soil health and food security in Africa

May 8, 2024 | Norway, Agriculture, Climate | Share this update

On May 8, 2024, during the African Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, Norway announced a NOK33 million (US$3 million) commitment to support the implementation of a ten-year action plan for improving soil fertility in African countries.

Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim noted that the state of the African soil is at its poorest after decades of overexploitation, causing of micronutrients that are crucial for crops to thrive. Harvests grown in the poor soils have been negatively affected, contributing to the hunger crisis across the continent. Tvennereim noted that collecting detailed information about the current situation is a key delivery of Norwegian support.

The African Union Development Agency is planned to play a leading role in supporting the implementation of the African action plan at country level. The Norwegian support will be used on capacity building for policymakers and farmers, as well as facilitating regional knowledge exchanges. Part of Norway’s support will be a financial contribution to the creation of an open digital platform on soil health established by CGIAR and Varda. The platform aims to collect soil health data and make it available for policymakers, private sector, fertilizer producers, researchers, and farmers.

Press release - The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norad presents 2023 ODA statistics, shows 18% overall increase

May 7, 2024 | Norway, Nutrition, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Family Planning, International development, Global Health, Climate | Share this update

On May 7, 2024, Norad presented the statistics on Norwegian development assistance in 2023, showing that Norwegian ODA reached a record high of NOK58.6 billion (US$5.4 billion), an increase of 18% or NOK9 billion (US$832 million) compared to 2022.

ODA increased in all regions, significantly affected by the one-time additional allocation of NOK5 billion (US$462 million) to LICs particularly affected by Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

By region, the largest increase in ODA was to Europe. In total, European countries received NOK9.1 billion (US$842 million) in funding. Of the total European allocation, the largest share of funding went to Ukraine and Moldova. The funding to Ukraine in 2023 stood at NOK7.9 billion (US$730 million).

Development assistance to the African continent increased by NOK2.5 billion (US$321 million), reaching a total of NOK10.2 billion (US$943 million). Africa remains the region receiving the most development assistance from Norway. The increase in funding to Africa is explained by long-term assistance to agriculture, fisheries, food security and emergency relief.

Development assistance to the Middle East increased by over NOK1 billion (US$92 million), reaching NOK3.8 billion (US$351 million) in 2023. The increase was almost exclusively in emergency assistance. Palestine was the second-largest recipient of Norwegian development assistance in 2023, receiving NOK1.2 billion (US$111 million). The majority of the funding was given as humanitarian assistance and emergency relief.

By partner, multilateral organizations were the largest partner group for Norwegian ODA, followed by CSOs and the public sector. Multilaterals received NOK31.7 billion (US$2.9 billion) in 2023, an increase of NOK6.3 billion (US$582 billion) from 2022. CSOs received NOK13.2 billion (US$1.2 billion) in 2023, compared to NOK10.3 billion (US$952 million) in 2022.

The World Bank Group was the largest partner with NOK7.4 billion (US$684 million) in 2023, of which slightly over one-fifth was core support. The WFP was the second-largest recipient with NOK2.4 billion (US$222 million), approximately half of which was earmarked for emergency relief. Overall, multilateral organizations were the dominant partner group for Norwegian health assistance, with over 80% being channeled through multilateral partners in 2023.

By sector, emergency relief and multisectoral support saw the largest growth from 2022 to 2023, while there was a decrease in refugee expenses and earmarked assistance for education.

ODA to agriculture, fisheries, and food security significantly increased from NOK3.9 billion (US$360 million) in 2022 to NOK6.4 billion (US$592 million) in 2023. Most of the increase of NOK2.5 billion (US$231 million) was funded by the one-time funding package for LICs particularly affected by Russia's war against Ukraine.

Total Norwegian ODA to health stood at NOK6.5 billion (US$601 million) in 2023, up from NOK6.3 billion (US$582 million) in 2022. This is significantly lower than in 2020 and 2021, when development assistance globally was influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Between 2014 and 2023, health assistance slightly increased when measured in 2024 prices, from NOK4.7 billion (US$434 million) in 2014. The largest partners in health assistance in 2023 were Gavi at NOK1.5 billion (US$138 million), UNFPA at NOK1.1 billion (US$101 million) and the WHO at NOK687 million (US$63.5 million). Of the earmarked health ODA, totaling NOK3.5 billion (US$323 million) in 2023, 58% went to programs targeting LICs not geographically earmarked. Africa received the most of the geographically earmarked health support, with around NOK600 million (US$55.5 million).

In 2023, NOK1.7 billion (US$157 million) went to SRHR, down from NOK1.8 billion (US$166 million) in 2022. Multilateral organizations, an important partner group in Norwegian SRHR efforts, received 51% of the earmarked support in addition to the calculated core support, totaling 81% of SRHR support. UNFPA was the largest individual partner and received nearly half of total SRHR support.

News article - Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (in Norwegian)






US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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