Continued increase in international and Norwegian aid

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Total development aid from Norway continued to grow in 2021, amounting to NOK 40.1 billion for the year. ‘These figures demonstrate our firm commitment, even in times of crisis, to reducing poverty in the world,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.

Despite the world’s countries having to cope with the massive crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the level of development aid remained high in 2021, according to the latest figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

‘We can be proud that Norway, in the midst of the pandemic, provided more development aid than ever before. The pandemic has hit developing countries hard economically as well, and estimates for the number of people living in extreme poverty indicate that the progress made has been set back several years. This makes it all the more important that aid to the poorest has been at a high level,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.

International aid increased in 2021, mainly as a result of support to developing countries in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary OECD figures. The level of aid has never been higher. Development aid from the OECD countries totalled USD 179 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent over 2020. Fully 23 of the 30 member countries of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) increased their development assistance funding in 2021 compared to 2020.

“These figures reflect a political prioritisation. It is important for us all that more countries consider it valuable to maintain international engagement and efforts to fight poverty. Norway has supported the multilateral system, including during the pandemic. Norwegian aid funding also builds on the foundation established by Norwegian civil society organisations in many developing countries. Even during the pandemic, they have been on the front line in local communities and refugee camps, and by promoting normative efforts. This has been a pivotal reason that the aid has produced good results,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.

As a member of the OECD, Norway has made a commitment to assist the developing countries in their efforts to achieve international development targets. The guidelines agreed to in the DAC state that poverty reduction, in the form of economic growth and welfare in the countries listed by DAC, is the most important task of development policy.

‘As we know, the world is facing a number of challenges. Like the pandemic, the war in Ukraine will have long-lasting impacts on donor and recipient countries. We must therefore be strategic in our choice of focus areas and priorities. We must ensure that we direct the funding to where it will best benefit the world’s poor. These are the people who are hit the hardest by the global crises. The Government will look at how our budgets in the coming years can most effectively address the challenges of poverty, climate change, and the need for funding in developing countries dealing with climate change,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.

Fact box

  • Norway is one of few donor countries to reach the UN target of contributing 0.7 % of GNI to official development assistance (ODA).
  • In 2021, five DAC countries reached this target. In addition to Norway, these were Luxembourg, Sweden, Germany and Denmark.

Norway’s development aid increased from NOK 39.5 billion in 2020 to NOK 40.1 billion in 2021. Measured in NOK, this is the highest level of aid ever.