Record-high Norwegian aid budget in time of crisis

Erik Solheim. Photo:

The Norwegian Government proposes that NOK 27.4 billion should be allocated to development assistance in 2010. This is an increase of NOK 1.2 billion from 2009.

“It is important that Norway maintains its development assistance at this record-high level. Despite the fact that the financial crisis has begun to have a serious impact on poor countries, a number of countries are cutting their aid budgets,” said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim. Development assistance accounts for 1.09% of Norway’s estimated GNI for 2010.

“We will honour our commitments and intensify Norway’s efforts to help poor countries to cope better with conflicts, the climate crisis and the financial crisis,” said Mr Solheim.

The Government will continue to give priority to peacebuilding, human rights and humanitarian assistance, women and gender equality, the environment and climate change, clean energy, good governance, institution building, and the fight against corruption. The Government will also continue to take a special responsibility in the efforts to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals on reducing child and maternal mortality.

The Government will step up support for efforts to prevent deforestation in poor countries and proposes an allocation of NOK 2.1 billion for this purpose in 2010 over the development assistance budget. This is an increase of NOK 650 million from 2009. In addition, the Government proposes a commitment authorisation for a further NOK 1.4 billion.

The Government proposes increases in allocations in the following areas in 2010:

  • an extra NOK 650 million to Norway’s international climate and forest initiative
  • an extra NOK 35 million to NGOs
  • an extra NOK 50 million to efforts to help children through UNICEF
  • an extra NOK 20 million to research and higher education as part of the Government’s India Strategy

In response to the increasing number of people seeking asylum in Norway, the Government proposes a larger allocation for refugee measures in Norway in 2010 in the development assistance budget. This is in keeping with international practice and is approved by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as ODA. This allocation will be administered by the Ministry of Labor and Social Inclusion, the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Children and Equality.

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