Government increases support for women's health and safe abortion

'Norway plays a leading role in the work to promote global health, and is one of the largest donors to gender equality and women's health efforts. The Government is increasing its support for family planning and safe abortion by NOK 85 million compared with 2016. We will continue to be a driving force for women's health internationally. At a time when this agenda has come under pressure, a joint effort is particularly important,' said Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 47 000 women die, and nearly 7 million need medical treatment every year, as a result of unsafe abortions. More than 225 million women would like to have access to contraception, but do not have access today.

'We will help to ensure that organisations working to promote safe abortion and reproductive health can continue this important work internationally. We support the Dutch initiative "She decides", and – together with other like-minded countries – we will publish our contributions on the "She decides" website. We have also initiated a close dialogue with the other Nordic countries with a view to increasing efforts in response to the reduction in US funding – a reduction that we know will hit girls and women in developing countries hardest,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The Government's increase in funding will be channelled through NGOs that are effective and achieve good results. Norad (the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) will invite relevant NGOs to apply for funding. Documented knowledge, results and experience will be the main criteria for funding. The Government will also increase its support to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which works with reproductive health issues for women living in poverty, crisis and conflict.