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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6 Geographical priorities

Norway will concentrate its bilateral aid on 20 – 25 partner countries. This principle does not apply to humanitarian aid or aid channelled through civil society and Norfund.

The Government has proposed three main categories of partner countries:

  • countries for long-term development cooperation, where Norway is particularly well suited to play a role, primarily countries where Norway has a longstanding engagement in development cooperation;

  • countries that are directly or indirectly affected by conflict, that have vast humanitarian needs, and where conflict could spread beyond the region. These are primarily countries in the belt extending from West Africa to Afghanistan; and

  • countries where efforts to address common global challenges such as climate change, global health and global security could have a particularly large impact.

Many of our traditional partner countries have a clear aim to become independent of aid. Based on this we will develop strategies to phase out aid in line with the countries’ own plans. We will place greater emphasis on transfer of knowledge and normal bilateral relations.

We have to respond to the dire situation in the belt that extends from West Africa via the Sahel, Somalia and South Sudan to Afghanistan. The situation in these countries is causing immense human suffering and impeding development and poverty reduction. Our engagement in the Sahel and the area around Lake Chad will be stepped up.

It is expected that an increasing proportion of international aid will be used to protect global public goods and to address global challenges. Efforts of this kind often have the biggest impact in middle-income countries. One example is Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, as middle-income countries such as Brazil and Indonesia have major rain forests. The same may apply to other common challenges, such as global health and security. Development in countries like Egypt and Tunisia is decisive for stability in the whole Maghreb region and further south on the African continent. In the Western Balkans, the poorest region of Europe, internal tensions are growing in several countries. Norway will increase its engagement in these areas with a view to promoting stability and development.