Press release | Date: 08/11/2021 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Government has proposed an aid budget of over NOK 41 billion for 2022. In order to address the climate threat, the Government has proposed a significant increase in funding for efforts in the areas of renewable energy, food security and climate change adaptation. It has also proposed establishing a separate funding pot for initiatives targeting refugees and displaced people.
The proposed amendments to next year’s aid budget are based on the Government’s political platform, which sets out six priority areas for development policy. The aid budget will be increased by NOK three billion, or 8 %, in relation to the final 2021 budget, and will amount to 1 % of Norway’s gross national income (GNI).
‘We must ensure that Norwegian development policy is focused on areas where we can make a difference, and enable developing countries to get on board and implement the green transition. Our development policy is intended to promote social change, and we must therefore be more strategic in our choice of focus areas and priorities,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.
The climate crisis is compounding other crises facing the world today. The Government is therefore seeking to give the aid budget a stronger focus on climate change. Funding for efforts to promote renewable energy in developing countries will be increased by NOK 500 million in 2022. The Government will thus be reversing the trend of cuts in funding for renewable energy activities in developing countries. The Government will also follow up the proposal to establish a new climate investment fund.
‘The green transition will lead to substantial reductions in emissions, promote job creation and help to reduce poverty. This is an area where we expect to be able to mobilise significant private sector funding, which will help us reach our target of doubling Norway’s climate finance to NOK 14 billion by 2026,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.
The fight against hunger
According to the UN, climate change is one of the main causes of the steady rise in the number of people going hungry worldwide. The Government will do its part to combat hunger, and has proposed an increase in funding of NOK 500 million for efforts to improve food security.
‘We cannot succeed in responding to the climate, hunger or poverty crises without addressing the needs of small-scale farmers and fishermen. This is why we are strengthening efforts to promote climate-resilient agriculture, with a focus on small-scale food producers and other food system actors, including within fisheries and aquaculture,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.
The Government will also work to promote the rights of women in developing countries to decide over their own bodies and lives. It has therefore proposed a funding increase of NOK 25 million for efforts relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This includes support for family planning, contraception and safe abortion. In addition, NOK 50 million will be reallocated to strengthen sexuality education.
New solidarity initiatives
During the current parliamentary period, the Government will build up a separate funding pot of at least NOK five billion that will be used to improve conditions for refugees and displaced people and local host communities. In the budget for 2022, NOK two billion has been reallocated from the humanitarian aid budget to this funding pot.
‘This separate funding pot will enable us to improve conditions for refugees and displaced people as well as the local host communities,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide at the end of 2020. Some 55 million people were internally displaced, 48 million of them as a result of war or conflict, and seven million as a result of climate-related disasters. There is a huge need for funding, which remains largely unmet.
‘Norway will seek to ensure that the situation for displaced people is high on the international agenda, and will follow this up at country level, both bilaterally through its own aid efforts and in multilateral forums,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.
In the first instance, the support provided via the new funding pot will be used for humanitarian purposes and will be channelled through existing partners such as the UN and Norwegian humanitarian organisations. The Government considers it important to maintain a constructive dialogue with these organisations in order to develop new methods and approaches that will ensure closer coordination between emergency humanitarian aid and long-term development assistance.