Norway intensifies efforts in fragile states and regions

'The refugee crisis and large-scale humanitarian crises arising from conflicts, wars and terrorism have meant that we have had to increase our focus on fragile states and regions. Conflicts, wars and terrorism have catastrophic consequences for those who are directly affected. They also create challenges for us and threaten our security,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

In the budget proposal for 2017, aid for post-crisis stabilisation and reconstruction has been expanded to include crisis prevention. The Government proposes an increase in support for efforts in these areas of NOK 53 million in 2017.

'The Government is intensifying its efforts to promote stability and development in fragile states and regions and is drawing up a comprehensive strategy for its work in this area. Particular attention will be given to a belt of countries stretching from Mali in the west via the Horn of Africa and the Middle East to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east,' Mr Brende said. 'The strategy will set out both bilateral initiatives and multilateral efforts.'

'Lasting and sustainable peace can only be achieved through political solutions. Our aim is to increase states' ability to address their challenges and to prevent state collapse. Long-term efforts in a wide range of areas are needed if we are to succeed in what are often complex and challenging situations,' Mr Brende said.

'Most of the areas the Government has identified as development policy priorities are highly relevant in fragile states and regions. This applies, in particular, to humanitarian aid, education, health, and peace and reconciliation work,' Mr Brende said. 'Our efforts to promote business development and job creation will also be important in the context of our engagement in fragile states. Humanitarian aid is essential in the short term, but it must be linked to long-term efforts to reduce fragility and build resilience.'