Meld. St. 24 (2016–2017)

Common Responsibility for Common Future— Meld. St. 24 (2016–2017) Report to the Storting (white paper), English summary

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5 Key priorities

In line with the 2030 Agenda, Norway will have a holistic perspective on our development efforts. However, in order to be effective, we will concentrate our bilateral aid on key thematic and geographical priorities. As a major contributor to multilateral organisations we will continue to provid support for the full spectrum of areas covered by the SDGs.

The following factors are cross-cutting issues for all Norwegian development policy and aid:

  • human rights;

  • women’s rights and gender equality;

  • climate change and environment; and

  • anti-corruption.

All development efforts are to be assessed on the basis of how they affect or are affected by these cross-cutting issues. All four cross-cutting issues are raised at regular intervals and at various levels, in dialogue with partner countries, in the governing bodies of multilateral bodies, and with other partners. Norway will continue to work to ensure that these issues remain high on the international agenda.

Five thematic areas are given priority in Norwegian development policy:

  • education;

  • health;

  • private sector development and job creation;

  • climate, renewable energy and the environment; and

  • humanitarian aid.

These five priority areas account for most of the aid budget. In order to ensure that our efforts have a long-term perspective and are predictable, we aim to continue a high level of funding for education, health and Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative for the period leading up to 2030. Agriculture and food security fall under the priority areas ‘private sector development’ and ‘climate’. Food security is also a key issue in our humanitarian efforts.

Figure 5.1 Pupils in a school in Njewa just outside Lilongwe, Malawi, concentrating on drawings and numbers on tablets.

Figure 5.1 Pupils in a school in Njewa just outside Lilongwe, Malawi, concentrating on drawings and numbers on tablets.

Photo: Eva Bratholm/Norad

Education. Funding for education has been doubled under this Government. We will work to improve the quality of education, for example through the recruitment of more and better-qualified teachers and the use of new technology. We will work to ensure that children and young people in situations of crisis and conflict have access to good quality education. We will also work to ensure that the most marginalised groups of children and young people, including those with disabilities, have educational opportunities. We will intensify our efforts to ensure that young people have vocational training opportunities.

Health. Epidemics and pandemics are a threat to global health security and to social and economic development. We will build further on Norway’s longstanding efforts to improve women’s, children’s and young people’s health, fight the major infectious diseases and strengthen health systems in the poorest countries. Our efforts to promote access to sexual and reproductive health services, particularly in crisis and conflict situations, will be intensified. We will step up our efforts in the areas of non-communicable diseases and air pollution. Antibiotic resistance (AMR) will be an important field in the time ahead. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is the Government’s most important new initiative in the area of global health.

Figure 5.2 Our Fish for Development programme is designed to improve food security and promote sustainable management of fish stocks and profitable business activities.

Figure 5.2 Our Fish for Development programme is designed to improve food security and promote sustainable management of fish stocks and profitable business activities.

Photo: Ken Opprann

Private sector development and job creation. The private sector plays a key role in securing lasting development and poverty reduction. Norfund is our most important instrument for fostering private sector development and job creation. Allocations to Norfund will be increased by 50 %.

Renewable energy for job creation and climate change mitigation. Renewable energy is important from both a business development perspective and a climate perspective. Access to energy is essential for business development, job creation, tax revenues, and hence economic and social development. At the same time, the energy sector is the main emitter of greenhouse gases. Through initiatives such as Oil for Development, Norway has helped to improve the management of energy resources in partner countries. This work has included cooperation on legislation, environmental issues, transparency, and transfer of knowledge and experience. Engagement in the energy sector is not only important for growth and development; it is also an effective way of promoting good governance. The Government intends to double its efforts in the field of renewable energy.

Climate and environment. Norway will continue to be at the forefront of efforts to safeguard climate and environment, and will increase funding for climate measures to achieve the targets set out in the Paris Agreement. We are constantly striving to take a more coherent approach so that measures relating to climate and environment are integrated as far as possible into measures in the fields of health, sound natural resource management and business development. We will promote effective models for public-private cooperation so that aid can be used to trigger private sector investments in renewable energy and climate and environment measures. Climate-smart agriculture will continue to be an important field for us in the years ahead – both from a business perspective and from a climate perspective.