Press release | Date: 2017-04-05 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
'The overall aims of Norwegian aid are to fight poverty and alleviate suffering. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are bringing the countries of the world together in a concerted effort to eliminate poverty by 2030. In the white paper on the Sustainable Development Goals and Norwegian development policy, the Government presents a coherent policy for development that will be Norway's contribution to the achievement of the UN's ambitious goals,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are bringing the countries of the world together in a concerted effort to eliminate poverty by 2030. Aid alone is not sufficient to finance the work to achieve the SDGs; major flows of capital need to be mobilised. In this context, it is important that governments, the private sector and NGOs work together.
'The Government's proposal to double its support for renewable energy is one example of how we can mobilise private funding. Our aid for renewable energy will help to improve framework conditions for the private sector and reduce risk, thereby making commercial investments in renewable energy production more attractive. This means that, together with the private sector, we can create jobs, generate tax revenues and promote green development in poor countries,' said Mr Brende.
The Sustainable Development Goals show how interdependent the countries of the world have become. Investments in public goods such as global health, security and climate stability are essential for social and economic development in all countries.
'Through the aid Norway provides, we are helping to generate investments in public goods such as health and climate stability in developing countries. For example, the Government is proposing to increase funding for climate measures, while in the field of global health we will invest in the development of new vaccines and efforts to combat antibiotic resistance,' said Mr Brende.
The poorest people in the world live in areas affected by fragility. Around 1.6 million people currently live in fragile situations. This is why the Government is stepping up its efforts in countries and regions that are affected by fragility.
'Africa will continue to receive the largest amount of aid from Norway. Extreme poverty, flows of refugees, and the spread of extremism and terrorism pose a major threat to the already fragile sub-Saharan countries and their neighbours, and are an obstacle to sustainable development. The Government will therefore intensify Norway's efforts in areas affected by fragility,' said Mr Brende.
The Government will also take a more long-term approach in its humanitarian efforts in crisis situations. One example of this is Norway's humanitarian aid to Syria and its neighbouring countries; here, the Government has decided that 15 % of the aid provided is to be used on education. Stronger defence of universal values is also called for in many situations of conflict and unrest.
'International rules and institutions that promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law are under pressure. In the white paper, we set out our intention to intensify our efforts to promote freedom of expression, protect religious minorities, and safeguard women's rights, including access to contraception and sexual and reproductive health services,' said Mr Brende.
Key actions set out in the white paper include:
- A doubling of Norway's funding for renewable energy.
- A 50 % increase in funding for Norfund, with a view to creating new private sector jobs in poor countries.
- Maintaining a high level of aid to priority areas such as education, health, and Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative in the period leading up to 2030.
- Promoting innovation in the field of global health, for example the development of vaccines against new epidemics and efforts to combat antibiotic resistance.
- Intensifying efforts in areas affected by fragility, to prevent the collapse of states and the spread of conflict and fragility.
- Increasing efforts to promote access to contraception and sexual and reproductive health services, including safe and legal abortions.
- Stepping up efforts to protect religious minorities. Annual funding for efforts to support religious minorities will be increased from NOK 20 million to NOK 40 million.