Foreign affairs

Humanitarian efforts

An important part of Norwegian foreign and international development policy is concerned with saving lives, alleviating suffering and protecting civilians affected by war and conflict. Norwegian humanitarian efforts are focused on countries where there are great, unmet humanitarian needs, and where the measures concerned support peace and reconciliation processes. Protection of civilians is one of Norway’s key priorities as an elected member of the Security Council.

Fra flyktningleiren Kanjiza i Serbia hvor serbisk Røde Kors deler ut mat. Foto: Tommaso Della Longa, IFRC

The National Budget 2021:

NOK 5.5 billion for humanitarian assistance

‘The Government has proposed an overall humanitarian budget of NOK 5.5 billion for 2021. The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection worldwide is higher than ever before. With this budget, Norway will continue to be one of the largest humanitarian donors in the world,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

Sivilbefolkningen har vært ekstremt utsatt under krigen i Syria. Avtalen om våpenstillstand kan gi et kjærkomment pusterom for å yte helsehjelp. Foto:

The protection of civilians in conflict situations

Ensuring protection against violence, abuse and violations of fundamental human rights is a key part of the humanitarian response, both in situations of armed conflict and natural disasters. Protection has been identified as one of three main priorities in Norway’s Humanitarian Strategy for 2019-2023.

Children in a refugee camp for Syrian refugees in Turkey. Credit: Frode O. Andersen, MFA

Guidance on respect for humanitarian principles

Nearly 27 million of the children who are currently out of school live in areas affected by crisis and conflict, according to Unicef. By assuming an international leadership role, Norway has helped to increase political awareness and provide concrete measures for education in situations of crisis and conflict.

Related topics and insights

What's new

Visit to UN humanitarian operation into Syria

15/06/2022: ‘Humanitarian needs in Syria are increasing with each passing month. Some four million Syrians living on the other side of this border are completely dependent on the UN being able to continue to lead the work of delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, such as food, water and medicines, into northwestern Syria,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

Afghanistan: The beginning of an important dialogue

25/01/2022: ‘I thank the brave women activists, the human rights defenders and the other Afghans who took part in the meetings with the Taliban in Oslo. It is important that they sat face to face with the Taliban for the first time since the Taliban took power. This dialogue is a start, and I hope it will continue,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

Latest news


New strategy for humanitarian efforts

'Norway is to play a leading role in global humanitarian efforts both as a donor country and as a humanitarian actor. Our overall aim is to save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity in humanitarian crises, in line with the humanitarian imperative', the first chapter of the strategy says.

Fact sheet

The Mine Ban Convention

The Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) is the international agreement that prohibits anti-personnel mines. Its official title is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction.


Department for Multilateral Affairs

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