Historical archive

Major increase for rainforest, women and education

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Government is giving priority to the rainforest, education, and women’s rights and gender equality in the international development budget. “No other government has increased funding as much as we have,” said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.

The Government is giving priority to the rainforest, education, and women’s rights and gender equality in the international development budget. “No other government has increased funding as much as we have,” said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.

The Government proposes that NOK 26.2 billion should be allocated to development cooperation in 2009. This is an increase of NOK 3.9 billion from 2008, and the Government will thus meet the target set out in its policy platform of contributing 1% of gross national income (GNI) to international development in 2009.  

The Government will continue to work along the main tracks it has established for Norwegian development cooperation. The allocations for peace and human rights, climate change, oil and energy, and women’s rights and gender equality are to be increased. 

“I am very pleased about our historically strong focus on environmental development cooperation. Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative is designed to achieve rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, at the same time as it promotes development in poor countries,” said Mr Solheim. 

The main focus areas proposed in the budget for 2009 are: 

  • Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative: a total allocation of NOK 3 billion under the international development budget for measures to prevent deforestation in poor countries. NOK 1.5 billion of this amount is to be earmarked for concrete projects. In addition, the Government proposes that a further NOK 1.5 billion should be made available to enable additional projects to be started in 2009. This is a historically high allocation for environmental development cooperation, and a significant increase from 2008.
  • Clean energy: funding for development efforts related to clean energy and the Oil for Development programme is to be increased by NOK 200 million in 2009. Energy is a prerequisite for growth, and this increase could trigger commercial investments in clean energy such as hydropower, and solar and wind power.
  • Education: an increase in funding for education in poor countries of NOK 115 million in 2009. The allocation to UNICEF for efforts to ensure education for girls and children who are affected by conflict is to increase by NOK 60 million. The World Bank’s Education for All – Fast Track Initiative is to receive NOK 150 million next year, an increase of NOK 55 million.
  • Women’s rights and gender equality: an increase of NOK 65 million for efforts to promote women’s rights and gender equality in 2009. This is to be used for funding women’s organisations in poor countries and supporting local efforts to promote women’s rights and gender equality.
  • NGOs: The Government attaches importance to the efforts of Norwegian NGOs to strengthen civil society in poor countries, and therefore proposes an increase of NOK 35 million for this area. Additional funding will be available in connection with Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, under which funds will be allocated for the efforts of Norwegian and international NGOs on adaptation to climate change, sustainable forest management, emission reductions and combating deforestation. 

In addition, the 2009 budget proposal includes an increase in the allocation for assistance to refugees to cover increased costs. This allocation, which is managed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion, the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Children and Equality, is approved by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as official development assistance (ODA).  

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