Nearly NOK 3 billion to global health

Never before has Norway given such high priority to global health. The Government has proposed an allocation of nearly NOK 3 billion to support global health efforts in 2015, further developing Norway’s engagement and leadership role in this field.

Never before has Norway given such high priority to global health. The Government has proposed an allocation of nearly NOK 3 billion to support global health efforts in 2015, further developing Norway’s engagement and leadership role in this field.  

‘A healthy, educated population is essential for economic growth and development in any country. Norway’s aid, including funding for health, is to be used to support national priorities, not compensate for a country’s failure to set priorities in a responsible way,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. 

In its budget proposal, the Government has advocated an increase of NOK 150 million for global health efforts, which would bring the total allocation up to more than NOK 2.9 billion. The aim is to contribute to the achievement of the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 

‘Norway has taken on a leadership role in the field of global health, and has influenced global and national priorities to the benefit of people in poor countries. In our further efforts to promote global health, we will increase focus on innovation, results-based financing, national responsibility and synergies with other actors,’ said Mr Brende. 

Health important for education

He pointed out that Norway attaches great importance to the links between global health and education, another area where Norway is significantly stepping up its efforts next year. 

‘Access to basic health services and vaccination and nutrition programmes is vital for ensuring that children are able to go to school. Education has a positive effect on a number of health indicators. For example, we know that girls with an education tend to marry and have children later, which helps to reduce child and maternal mortality,’ said Mr Brende. 

The situation is critical in the West African countries that are affected by the Ebola outbreak. An additional contribution of NOK 89 million, which was announced on 6 October, brings Norway’s total funding for the fight against Ebola up to just over NOK 184 million for 2014. 

The Government also proposes an increase in Norway’s funding to the vaccine alliance GAVI of NOK 100 million, bringing the total to NOK 1.3 billion. GAVI is the most important tool for achieving MDG 4 on reducing child mortality. By the end of 2015, GAVI will have vaccinated more than 500 million children. Nearly eight million deaths have been prevented as a result of these vaccinations. 

The Government proposes an increase in Norway’s contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria of NOK 100 million, bringing the total to NOK 600 million. The Global Fund has ensured access to life-saving AIDS medicines for more than six million people in poor countries, the diagnosis and treatment of nearly 12 million cases of tuberculosis, and the distribution of more than 400 million malaria nets. 

The Government also proposes an allocation of up to NOK 3.6 billion for the period 2015–20 for a new global fund under the World Bank to promote maternal and child health. Pilot projects have shown that this form of funding has led to significant improvements in health services. The Fund will play an important part in the funding of the new sustainable development goals, which will replace the MDGs in 2015.