Press release | Date: 12/05/2022 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
‘The war in Ukraine is having impacts across the globe. The number of people who have been displaced is rising and more people than ever before do not have enough to eat. The Government is proposing an increase of NOK 3.6 billion in the aid budget, bringing it up to a total of NOK 44.9 billion,’ said Minister of International Cooperation Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.
The increased aid budget is equivalent to 1.09 % of GNI for 2022, and is being proposed in connection with the revised national budget being presented by the Government today.
‘Russia’s war against Ukraine is a watershed moment, and will have far-reaching repercussions. More than 13 million Ukrainians have been displaced. There has been widespread destruction of infrastructure. Norway will show solidarity and contribute to the international efforts to help Ukraine and its people,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
The Government will increase support to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries by NOK 1.75 billion. This means that, this year, Norway will be providing at least NOK 2 billion to Ukraine and the neighbouring countries most affected by the refugee crisis.
According to a recent UN report, some 193 million people in 53 countries experienced acute food insecurity in 2021 as a result of conflict situations, extreme weather caused by climate change and the economic ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Russia and Ukraine account for a full 28 % of the world’s wheat exports. The war is also leading to an increase in energy prices. The production of mineral fertiliser has been reduced and export restrictions have been introduced. This will lead to a decrease in food production, and the number of people experiencing hunger and a shortage of food will soar.
‘The war in Ukraine has made it very clear how dependent many developing countries are on imports of products they could manufacture themselves. The Government will therefore seek to strengthen local, climate-resilient food production. An additional NOK 200 million will be allocated to enhance food production in developing countries. In particular, we wish to focus our efforts on supporting small-scale food producers,’ Ms Tvinnereim said.
According to the UN, more than 84 million people have been forced to flee their homes worldwide. In 2021, 93 million people faced the threat of serious food shortages.
‘The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance to survive is at an all-time high. For this reason, we are not proposing any cuts to the humanitarian budget,’ said Ms Huitfeldt
In order to optimise the reception process and other services for Ukrainian refugees arriving in Norway, the Government is recommending that half of the proposed increase in the aid budget – NOK 1.8 billion – is to be targeted towards refugee-related measures in Norway.
The Government is also proposing to reallocate NOK 4 billion of the aid budget to finance increased costs associated with receiving refugees in Norway. This is in line with the OECD rules.
‘Even with this reallocation of NOK 4 billion to enable us take the best possible care of Ukrainian refugees in Norway, we will still have a record-high aid budget. We will use this funding to combat hunger, improve food security, alleviate need and provide protection, in addition to promoting climate change adaptation and long-term development,’ Ms Tvinnereim said.