Record high humanitarian budget again in 2017

'There are several major humanitarian crises in the world today. The Government is therefore planning to increase Norway's allocation for humanitarian aid to just over NOK 5 billion in 2017. A large part of this will go to efforts in Syria and the neighbouring countries. The humanitarian budget has increased by more than 50 % under the present Government. This increase has been necessary given the international situation facing us today,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The humanitarian budget is distributed between key partners with focus on particular countries and particular thematic areas. It also includes Norway's core funding to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

'In 2016, the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross launched their largest ever humanitarian appeals. Humanitarian needs continue to increase, but the global response has been inadequate. It is therefore important that Norway leads the way and sets a good example, and encourages other countries to provide more,' said Mr Brende. 'We will also seek to ensure that the parties to armed conflict respect international humanitarian law and give humanitarian actors access to those in need.'

Education is an important priority not only in Norway's development policy, but also in its humanitarian policy. More than 8 % of Norway's humanitarian aid will be channelled to education efforts in 2017.

'Norway already provides considerable humanitarian aid for education, but the needs are huge. Some 37 million children do not have access to school in countries affected by crisis and conflict. We cannot allow a whole generation of children to miss out on education in conflict areas around the world,' said Mr Brende.

'The prevention of humanitarian crises is also extremely important, and the Government plans to continue its support for disaster risk reduction,' Mr Brende added.