Press release | Date: 12/10/2017 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Government is proposing a NOK 280 million increase in funding for stabilisation efforts in countries and regions affected by conflict and fragility. In addition, the Government proposes to triple support for efforts to combat global security challenges such as terrorism, extremism and organised crime. As announced in a recent white paper on Norway's foreign and security policy, the Government intends to redouble its efforts in unstable areas in Europe's neighbourhood.
'War, conflict and instability have created large-scale humanitarian crises involving large numbers of people. According to the OECD, 80 % of people living in extreme poverty will be in countries affected by conflict and fragility by 2035. Conflicts, wars and terrorism have devastating consequences for those who are directly affected, and they also create security challenges across national borders and regions. Norway will therefore intensify its engagement in conflict prevention, stabilisation and resilience building,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
Norway intends to increase aid targeting conflict prevention, stabilisation and measures to build resilience in countries and regions affected by conflict and fragility to a total of NOK 485 million. This aid is intended to improve coordination between live-saving humanitarian aid and assistance for long-term development and peacebuilding in these countries and regions. The funding is flexible and can be provided quickly before, during and after crises. The increase in funding is intended particularly to meet large-scale needs in the Sahel region, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Syria and Iraq. This funding is in addition to humanitarian assistance and long-term development efforts.
'Experience from Afghanistan and South Sudan has taught us that we need a different approach in these countries and regions from that in more stable countries. The Government has therefore drawn up a strategic framework for Norway's engagement in conflict prevention, stabilisation and resilience building in countries and regions affected by conflict and fragility,' said the Foreign Minister.
War, conflict and poor governance create situations that are exploited by organised crime groups and extremists.
'The international threat landscape is changing. The distinction between state and non-state actors is becoming less clear. Transnational threat networks involved for example in international terrorism, violent extremism and organised crime will exploit situations where authorities lack control over their own territory. This makes states more vulnerable both before and after conflicts,' said Mr Brende.
The aid programmes targeting global security challenges will have a total budget of NOK 207 million, which will be used for analysis, developing situational awareness, international cooperation and capacity building, all of which will help developing countries to deal with their problems themselves. Support will for example be provided for border controls and local police forces in developing countries through channels such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and Interpol.
'Norway's development policy and increasing engagement in regions affected by conflict and fragility will play a part in achieving Sustainable Development Goal number one on reducing poverty. We are giving particularly high priority to support in the fields of education and health, and we will also increase support for business development and job creation in the private sector,' said Mr Brende.