World leader in global health

'The Government proposes an allocation of more than NOK 3 billion to global health in next year's budget. This will mean that, in the current parliamentary term, we will have increased our funding for this area by NOK 600 million. Our direct support to UNAids and the World Health Organization, which amounts to NOK 300 million, comes in addition to this. The increased allocation reflects the fact that health is crucial for creating growth and achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. In the time ahead, we will have an even stronger focus on reaching people who are particularly at risk because of war and conflict,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Global health will remain a key area in Norway's development policy. Norway is at the forefront of efforts to promote global health at the international level. Our primary focus is on maternal and child health and the fight against Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.

'We know that immunisation is one of the best investments we can make to improve global health. That is why the Government has increased its contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance by over 50 % for the period 2016-2020. We have also increased our support for the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria by 18 % for the next three years,' Mr Brende said.

Every year some 19 million children do not receive the basic vaccines they need. Since 2000, Gavi has helped to vaccinate 500 million children and thus prevent seven million deaths. Since 2002, the Global Fund has helped save 20 million lives.

'The Ebola outbreak in West Africa highlighted the need to focus on early vaccine development. Norway is one of the partners behind the establishment of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi), a new public-private partnership for vaccine development. The initiative will strengthen efforts to prevent epidemics from leading to large-scale humanitarian crises,' Mr Brende said.

In next year's budget, it is proposed that the Global Financing Facility (GFF), which supports efforts to improve women's, children's and adolescents' health, should continue to be a key channel for Norwegian support.

'Maternal and child health is one of the areas where the Government's education and health efforts are mutually reinforcing. We know that girls who go to school and gain an education tend to marry and have children later. Promoting education for girls and women is crucial for reducing maternal and child mortality,' Mr Brende said.