Programme area 03 International aid



The Government proposes an allocation of NOK 31 522 million for international development cooperation in 2014. This is NOK 1 314 million more than the final budget for 2013. The proposed allocation brings the aid budget to 1 % of the estimated gross national income for 2014.

The Government will continue to focus on the priority areas from 2013.

In 2013 the Government presented the white paper Sharing for prosperity: Promoting democracy, fair distribution and growth in development policy.[1] This and the white paper Towards greener development: On a coherent environmental and development policy[2] supplement the guiding principles set out in the white paper Climate, conflict and capital.[3]

These three white papers, together with the white papers Norway and the United Nations: Common Future, Common Solutions[4] and Global health in foreign and development policy[5] and the respective recommendations from the Storting, form the basis of the Government’s development policy. The overall goal to achieve poverty reduction and sustainable development remains unchanged, with particular focus on efforts to combat climate change, hunger and poverty and to promote better health and equality, the right to economic development, democracy, food security, fair distribution of resources and opportunities, and human rights.

The Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved by 2015, and a concerted effort in the final phase is required to make this possible. At the same time, the UN has initiated a wide-ranging process to formulate new goals for the post-2015 agenda. These new goals will play an important role in shaping international development policy for the years ahead.  A number of possible themes for development goals are being discussed globally. Norway will focus particularly on ensuring that renewable energy and access to energy, fair distribution, health, and gender equality are reflected in the new goals. In 2013 Norway took responsibility for global consultations on energy and hosted a high-level meeting in Oslo in April. Work on formulating goals for sustainable development, as agreed at the Rio+20 Conference, will be an important part of the process of drafting new development goals.  

The Government’s key priority areas for 2014 are described below.

1.1     Fair distribution, democracy and human rights

A number of developing countries have experienced strong economic growth in recent years. Nevertheless, 1.2 billion people are still living in extreme poverty. More than 70 % of these now live in middle-income countries, primarily China and India, and in sub-Saharan Africa. While distribution among countries is becoming more equal, income disparities within countries are increasing. This is unfortunate, because experience shows that societies with small social and economic differences are good societies that promote human development. The Government seeks to pursue a clear policy for fair distribution and growth in poor countries through targeted efforts to promote democracy, human rights and transparency, and to reduce inequality.

There is a strong correlation between the distribution of economic resources and the distribution of power. The Government wishes to shift its bilateral government-to-government cooperation towards countries that are becoming more democratic. In countries where democracy is in retreat, support will be given primarily through civil society and other actors striving for more openness and democracy. Accordingly, Norway will continue its strong support for human rights defenders and its efforts to advance freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and free media, as well as its work to strengthen women’s rights. We also place priority on furthering the rights of displaced persons, indigenous peoples, and sexual minorities.

Tax revenue is essential in order to be able to pursue an active distribution policy, to give the government legitimacy and to develop democratic structures. The Norwegian tax administration and natural resource management are well respected, and Norway’s experience from these sectors is in demand. Through the programmes Oil for Development and Tax for Development we wish to help resource-rich partner countries get their rightful share of the large revenues derived from petroleum extraction and other extractive industries. This is important both for economic reasons and to legitimise the taxation of the general population, thereby building trust and democracy. Norway supports both civil society and governments in their efforts to achieve effective, transparent tax regimes that advance fair distribution of society’s resources.

A main challenge in the tax systems of many developing countries is that they include a wide range of exemptions. Typically, donors also demand tax exemption for aid-funded goods and services. The exemptions represent a heavy administrative burden and tend to undermine tax systems and reinforce a tax exemption culture. The Government has decided that as a general rule, Norway will no longer require tax exemptions to be included in bilateral government-to government aid agreements. This new practice will be introduced gradually, as new bilateral agreements are entered into, and within the existing budget framework.

Capital flows in the form of trade, investments and capital flight are many times greater than international aid. The aim is to ensure that more of this money contributes to development and fair distribution. Tax evasion, transnational organised crime and corruption occur on a vast scale and do great damage. Such illicit funds can be transferred across national borders and hidden relatively easily, thanks to financial secrecy and inadequate regulatory oversight. Transparency is crucial for dealing with the problem.

Poor countries need more than market access in order to become better integrated into international trade. Both Aid for Trade and support for business development are needed to enable these countries to benefit from market access. In 2013 the Government revised the Aid for Trade action plan to intensify work for sustainable economic growth and trade in the poorest countries.

The Government intends to fund development activities that allow broad segments of the population to advance their interests, including their economic interests. Therefore more funding will be provided for establishing wage-setting systems and promoting workers’ rights through the labour movement and social dialogue. It is important to identify civil society actors, including the labour movement and farmers’ movements, that can promote a more democratic distribution of power and resources. 

A white paper on the Government’s international cultural engagement, including Norwegian support for the cultural sector in developing countries, was presented to the Storting in 2013.[6] This engagement is based on the principle of cultural rights for all.

1.2     Energy, climate and the environment

The Government will continue to allocate development funds to fight poverty in a way that also addresses global environmental challenges. In 2012, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) published its fifth report on the state of the global environment, Global Environmental Outlook (GEO 5).  The report shows that significant progress has been made on only four of the 90 most important environmental goals adopted by the international community.

The Government maintains its ambition to be a driving force in international climate efforts. Focus will be placed on conservation of forests, access to clean energy, and financing of climate mitigation and adaptation, with particular emphasis on programmes for food security, the prevention of natural disasters and conservation of biodiversity.

The Government will work to establish international mechanisms that can mobilise more resources for long-term, predictable funding of climate-related measures in developing countries. A key priority area is follow-up of the decision to establish the Green Climate Fund, a new fund for climate-related measures in developing countries.

Greater access to energy is needed to spur the transition to a modern economy in developing countries. At the same time, global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced significantly. Rich countries have the highest emissions per capita and must therefore make the greatest cuts. Support should be provided to poor countries so they can develop a renewable energy sector without resorting to fossil energy systems.

Many poor people have obtained better access to modern energy, in part through bilateral programmes for renewable energy. This generates development. Support for greater use of clean-burning stoves has had a positive impact on public health and emissions reduction.

The Government’s Energy+ initiative was launched in 2011. The goals are to increase access to renewable energy and to enhance energy efficiency with a view to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. One important means of achieving these goals is to facilitate increased private investment in the energy sector in developing countries. The Energy+ initiative is a partnership between 50 countries, international organisations and funding institutions, private companies and non-governmental organisations. The partnership draws up criteria for performance-based development assistance to the energy sector in developing countries and ensures task sharing among the partners.

Norway and the UN hope that the Energy+ initiative will become a key instrument for achieving concrete results under the UN Secretary General’s global initiative on Sustainable Energy for All. Norway’s bilateral and multilateral funding for renewable energy in developing countries underpins these initiatives. Much of the support for the energy sector in developing countries will be given multilaterally. Relevant programmes under the World Bank and regional development banks, as well as the United Nations Development Programme, will serve as important channels in this context.

As of 2013 a separate budget item for renewable energy has been established under chapter 166 (item 74, Renewable energy). An allocation of slightly more than NOK 2.1 billion for measures related to renewable energy is proposed for 2014, including the NOK 1 464 million allocation over chapter 166, item 74.

The Norwegian Government’s International Climate and Forest Initiative was launched in 2007. Under this initiative, Norway has set aside up to NOK 3 billion annually for measures to combat deforestation in developing countries. The initiative is a response to the recognition that efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation are inextricably linked with poverty reduction and sustainable economic development.

The Government will maintain its efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+). According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this is a cost-effective instrument for quickly reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and for conserving biodiversity. It is still more profitable from a short- and medium-term perspective to cut down forests than to let them stand. One way of addressing this problem is the establishment of an international regime that puts an economic value on forests as a global carbon sink.

The Government intends to intensify efforts to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon, methane and ozone, in order to slow global warming in the short term. These compounds also contribute to indoor and outdoor air pollution, which is the cause of more than 6 million deaths annually. Indoor air pollution, primarily caused by the use of traditional cooking stoves and paraffin lamps, poses the greatest threat to health in Southeast Asia. Measures with positive health impacts will be given priority. We will also help boost international awareness of the health benefits of reducing short-lived climate pollutants.  

1.3    Women’s rights and gender equality

Women’s rights and gender equality are a key priority for Norwegian foreign and development policy. For many years, Norway has spearheaded international efforts to promote gender equality. Gender equality is largely a question of the distribution of power and opportunities. It is crucial for realising women’s human rights; women have the right to influence their everyday lives and their future on the same terms as men. Gender equality work aims to remove barriers that limit women’s and girls’ opportunities for participating fully in society. Norway’s Action Plan for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Foreign and Development Policy was launched in August 2013. This is the first such plan to incorporate all the policy areas covered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) provides the framework for work to promote women’s rights and gender equality. Having been ratified by 187 of the UN’s 193 member states, CEDAW can be considered universal. However, many countries have a long way to go when it comes to compliance with their obligations under the Convention.

Women’s rights are under pressure. This applies first and foremost to women’s sexual and reproductive rights, such as the right to have control over their own bodies, including access to safe abortions. Norway has played and will continue to play an active role in strengthening women’s rights. Efforts are largely concentrated on upholding the existing international norms and standards, with emphasis on the plans of action from the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 and the Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The 20th anniversaries of these conferences will provide an important opportunity for taking stock. Additionally, great emphasis is placed on mainstreaming women’s rights and gender in the post-2015 goals for sustainable development.

Following up UN Security Council resolutions on the role of women in global efforts for peace and security is a priority. The Government will place importance on promoting the active participation of women in peacebuilding and conflict resolution. Women are not just victims in situations of war and conflict; they are also key players in creating peace, reconciliation and sustainable development. In 2006 Norway launched a plan of action for follow-up of the UN resolutions on women, peace and security. The subsequent strategy that was adopted (for the period 2011–2013) calls for an annual progress report.

Norway expects its development cooperation, both bilateral and multilateral, to produce results for women. In addition to the priority areas within this field – women’s political and economic participation, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and combating violence against women – the gender perspective is also emphasised in other areas of development cooperation, including energy, climate change and the environment, fair distribution, global health, education, and humanitarian aid. Women with disabilities and indigenous women are given priority.

1.4    The UN and the multilateral financial institutions

The UN system plays a key role in upholding and promoting the international legal order, not least through its normative function, thereby promoting peace, human rights, security and sustainable development. However, the international legal order and the UN’s global role cannot be taken for granted. Geopolitical changes and new global challenges are placing new demands on international cooperation and the UN’s ability to adapt and take on new tasks. The challenges today are more complex than they were in 1945, when the UN was founded. This calls for a greater capability to manage complexity and to coordinate agendas and responses more closely. The UN is also being challenged by other actors, such as the G20 and regional organisations.

The multilateral development banks, which are among the largest and most important sources of aid to developing countries, are key channels for Norwegian funding to promote economic development and poverty reduction. The recent white paper Sharing for prosperity underscores the importance of promoting inclusive green growth and fair distribution in the UN and the multilateral financial institutions. In recent years, these issues have gained a more prominent place on the agendas of the multilateral financial institutions. The UN organisations and the multilateral financial institutions are raising the issue of fair distribution in the development debate in different ways. The multilateral financial institutions are key actors in addressing the economic perspectives of fair distribution, while the UN’s broad legitimacy and universal mandate make it well suited to develop international norms and standards in this area.

Norway is a major contributor to the UN and the development banks, and well-functioning multilateral institutions are in the interest of Norway. It is natural for us to work actively to strengthen the governing bodies of these organisations with a view to making them more effective as well as better coordinated at the country level. In our work on reforming and strengthening the UN, we are looking at its mandates, its funding, its management, the organisation of the secretariat, coordination between the various entities and the UN’s effectiveness at country level. The white paper Norway and the UN: Common Future, Common Solutions emphasises the importance of implementing reliable control mechanisms and procedures to prevent irregularities and wasting of funds, promoting fairer burden-sharing in financing the UN system, and modernising the UN to make it more effective. Norway gives priority to focused efforts on these issues in the UN Budget Committee and through our representation on boards in UN entities that receive substantial funds from Norway.

Burden sharing is also an important issue in the ongoing replenishment negotiations for the International Development Association (IDA) in the World Bank and the African Development Fund (AfDF) in the African Development Bank. As more middle-income countries become richer, it is expected that they, as members of multilateral organisations, will increase their voluntary contributions to the UN and the development banks, including the funds for the poorest countries.

An important actor in the social, economic and humanitarian fields, the UN also functions as a political arena. It is the arena for discussions about new global development goals for the period after 2015. Norway is taking part in these discussions and is seeking to ensure that the new goals build on the strengths of the current Millennium Development Goals, with a stronger focus on the structural causes of poverty and an emphasis on fair distribution, gender equality, access to climate-friendly energy, and global health. Many of the UN’s most important humanitarian and development programmes are completely dependent on voluntary contributions. Norway is among the largest contributors to the UN’s humanitarian and development efforts, focusing on human rights, health, the environment and democratic development. Emergency relief and humanitarian aid will continue to comprise a large and important part of Norway’s development cooperation. The UN is a key organisation both for the channelling of funding and for addressing humanitarian issues.

Recommendation No. 104 (2011–2012), the Storting calls for a clarification of the criteria for evaluating multilateral organisations with a view to possible budgetary consequences. A total of 28 organisations, including UN specialised agencies, funds and programmes, multilateral financial institutions, and global funds and financial mechanisms, have now been evaluated against the criteria set out in the white paper Norway and the UN: Common Future, Common Solutions. The review shows that a good deal of important work is being done in these organisations to develop results frameworks and better budget systems. It also shows that, while importance is attached to increasing transparency and access to information, the greatest need for improvements is in this area. The results of this review will provide an important basis for our further work in the governing bodies of these organisations. Together with other donors, we will seek to ensure better performance and greater transparency in these organisations.  

1.5    Fragile states, conflict and humanitarian aid

All societies are subject to conflicts of interest, economic challenges, and other social or physical events such as major accidents, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, epidemics or perhaps long-term economic downturns. Most countries have institutions that are charged with, and have plans for, dealing with such situations. A feature of fragile states, however, is that their institutions do not have this kind of capacity, neither for daily tasks nor for unexpected emergencies.  Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Haiti, Afghanistan, Liberia and Pakistan are examples of fragile states where Norway is engaged. Norway’s support is provided through both bilateral and multilateral channels. 

One and a half billion people live in fragile states, and 70 % of these states are currently or have been in conflict between 1989 and the present. The risk of conflict is greater in poor countries than in more resilient states. Conflict is also an obstacle to sound development. Fragile states lag farthest behind in the push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The main priorities are security, employment opportunities and the rule of law. All of these priorities require that the countries develop institutions capable of delivering these and other services. The Government has supported education through NGOs that can provide schooling for children in countries experiencing war or conflict, where the authorities of the country in question are not able to do so.

In 2011, around 20 fragile states came together and formed the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, a forum in which government authorities and donors meet on equal footing. The forum launched the framework known as the New Deal, a model for how donors should be engaged in fragile states. This is the first time that fragile states as a group have sought to identify their needs and speak with one voice. Norway is among the 40 states that have signed the new framework. The third International Dialogue global meeting, which was held in Washington, D.C. in April 2013, expressed stronger international commitment to carry out development cooperation in line with the New Deal. Somalia, one of the pilot countries where Norway is increasing its aid, would be an appropriate place to test this model. 

In fragile states, as elsewhere, Norway supports the principle of division of responsibility among donors. The Government will give priority to areas where we have experience and expertise. These include peacebuilding and statebuilding, natural resource management and policies of distribution. While these political projects tend to receive the most attention, the largest proportion of Norwegian development assistance funding – also in fragile states – is allocated for traditional development areas, such as humanitarian aid, civil society, health and education. It is important that bilateral and multilateral efforts to help fragile states are coordinated, as indicated in the white paper Norway and the UN: Common Future, Common Solutions. The white paper Climate, Conflict and Capital emphasises that the Government will contribute to a more long-term perspective in international cooperation with fragile states.

Engagement in fragile states that are prone to conflict requires perseverance and the willingness to take risks. It also requires a continual focus on preventive diplomacy and measures for reconciliation. The path from fragility to resilience is not linear, and Norwegian development assistance must be flexible in order to meet the changing needs of the countries and their people.  

1.6    Health, education and social safety nets

In 2012 the Government presented the white paper Global health in foreign and development policy. This white paper sets out clear priorities for a coherent global health policy up to 2020, with three focus areas: strengthening women’s and children’s rights and health; reducing the burden of disease, with emphasis on prevention; and promoting human security through health. The objective of Norway’s global health policy is to promote basic human rights.

For many years Norway has played a leading role internationally in efforts to fulfil the health-related Millennium Development Goals (4: reduce child mortality, 5: improve maternal health, 6: combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases). MDGs 4 and 5 are among the goals farthest out of reach, although considerable progress is now being made. Norway is at the forefront of efforts to achieve these goals, with a particular focus on safeguarding women’s reproductive rights.

The Government intends to increase its focus on helping build national capacity in the health sector, emphasising the responsibility of individual countries to ensure universal health coverage. This is essential in order to maintain the good results that have been achieved in terms of reduced child and maternal mortality.

Norway will intensify its efforts for women’s and children’s health in 2014. Funding for the vaccination of children through the GAVI Alliance will be increased. The campaign against polio will be intensified, as part of a major international effort to eradicate this disease in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and others. We will continue our work to ensure access to medicines and contraceptives, particularly through the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children. This commission, which was co-chaired by Prime Minister Stoltenberg and Nigeria’s President Jonathan, submitted its recommendations to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012.

HIV and AIDS remain a major challenge. Norway actively supports UNAIDS’ increased focus on promoting human rights and combating stigmatisation and discrimination, particularly of women and such vulnerable groups as men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers. Norway supports the organisation’s efforts to achieve the global objectives established at the high-level meeting in 2010 to halve the number of new HIV/AIDS cases and to eliminate mother-to-child transmission by 2015. We are also working to combat HIV and AIDS through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and UNITAID, the international scheme for increased access to quality drugs and diagnostics.

Air pollution and climate change are having a vast and growing negative impact on public health. Air pollution – both indoors and outdoors – causes more than 6 million deaths annually, most of them women and children under the age of five. The number of people affected by malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and infectious diseases as a result of an increase in the number and severity of extreme weather events is expected to rise. The Government wishes to strengthen its efforts in this area, in part by highlighting the connection between the environment, climate and health, as set out in the white papers Global health in foreign and development policy and Towards greener development. The World Health Organization is an important partner in this work.

The Government intends to increase funding for education in development cooperation by NOK 150 million in 2014. There has been significant progress in efforts to achieve universal primary education (MDG 2): the international community’s focus on access to primary education has been crucial. However, the Government believes it is necessary to modify the assumption that investment in primary education yields the greatest reduction in poverty. Recent research suggests that a few years of schooling is not enough to break the cycle of poverty. Moreover, many children attend school without any real learning benefit. Greater attention to the quality of teaching and the learning achieved will be needed in the effort to set a new global education agenda. Future education programmes should be more multidimensional and should extend to education beyond primary school. Only then can primary education become the building block for society that it is meant to be.

Teachers are the front line of the education sector, and as such they are the most important single factor for better learning. An estimated 57 million children in the world still do not attend school. There is a need for 5.4 million new primary school teachers in 112 countries by 2015 if these children are to receive schooling. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 2 million new teachers are needed. This is an enormous task, and teacher training will be at the centre of the Government’s intensified education effort.

Most of the people in the world who are without jobs are young people. Many of them have little or no education and lack the necessary skills for getting paid work and for contributing to their country’s development. We know that investing in education for girls yields particularly high returns for society. Providing education for girls beyond primary school is another key component of the Government’s education effort.

Wars, conflicts and natural disasters affect the daily lives of almost half of those without access to education. About 25 million children are denied their right to education on the basis of disability. Others are excluded on the basis of their gender, ethnic background, culture, language or religion, or simply because they are poor. These children have an equal right to education, and the Government will continue to focus on the most vulnerable groups.  In keeping with the policy platform Soria Moria 2, the Government will continue to focus on education in areas affected by conflict and natural disaster, and will intensify efforts to include children with disabilities.

It is the view of the Government that each country is responsible for financing its own system of universal education. Until that becomes possible, the international community will need to increase its support for education. The Government aims to increase funding for education to NOK 3 billion annually, an increase of about NOK 1.4 billion during the four-year parliamentary period, within the existing budget framework.

The intensified education effort will focus on three objectives. First, all children should get the schooling they are entitled to, including those who are most often excluded, for instance minorities, indigenous children, the poor and the disabled. Conflict-ridden countries and crisis areas will be given particular priority, as this is where most children do not have the opportunity to attend school. Norwegian development cooperation is to promote free, good quality schools where all children are allowed to attend. The second objective is to promote girls’ opportunities to attend secondary school. This area has received insufficient international aid. In addition, it is important to improve the quality of education. Norway will support the development of educational institutions, curricula, syllabuses and teachers’ training as its third objective. The value of practical vocational education will be emphasised. Poor countries should have the capacity to educate the labour force they need; Norwegian aid for higher education will help them develop this capacity.

About half of the support provided by Norway for education is channelled through international mechanisms such as the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and multilateral organisations such as the World Bank, UNICEF and UNESCO, in keeping with the policy of channelling and coordinating aid as efficiently as possible.

The Norwegian Programme for Capacity Building in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) seeks to strengthen capacity within higher education and research in low- and middle-income countries. The aim is to build capacity at institutions in the South to educate more people with better qualifications, who can then help reduce poverty through social, economic and cultural development in their own countries.

Health and education have long played a key role in development cooperation. In recent years, there has been increasing focus on social safety nets in the form of social security schemes for the poor. Schemes of this type in middle-income countries such as Brazil, Mexico and South Africa have shown good results.

Poverty is multidimensional and tends to be passed on from one generation to the next. It is difficult to break out of circumstances in which many negative factors interact and reinforce each other. Such factors may include poor nutrition, limited schooling, unsatisfactory sanitary conditions, poor health, vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, and inadequate infrastructure. Modest sums of money provided on a regular basis to poor families can help increase the effect of other government initiatives. Experience has shown that direct transfers lead to improved nutrition, which in turn means better health and a better basis for learning. The Government will increase support for developing social security schemes in developing countries.

1.7    Food security and climate change

The right to adequate food, as set out in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, is the underlying principle for the Government’s efforts to promote food security. Promotion of food security in a climate perspective is an important pillar in Norway’s international development policy.

The goal is to foster green development. Countries that recognise the links between climate change and agriculture will be able to take a more comprehensive approach to the principles of green growth. Adaptation to climate change, particularly in the agricultural sector, will be crucial if the right to food is to be fulfilled. There is significant potential for greater food production in many regions, especially in Africa, but these areas are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.  Providing support for climate services and climate-smart agriculture is essential to ensure increased food production in the face of climate change.

In addition, fairer distribution is needed in order to provide adequate food for all. To make this happen, the Norwegian approach to food security emphasises equal rights and equal access to productive resources as key factors for increased food production. Further, Norway’s bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation in this area aims to benefit small holders in general and women and women’s organisations in particular.

Under Norway’s strategy for food security in a climate perspective (Matsikkerhet i et klimaperspektiv) for 2013–2015, funding will be increased by NOK 500 million for the three-year period. This increase is to be made within the existing budgetary framework for development cooperation, and is additional to the NOK 1 billion a year that Norway already provides to support measures for global food security.

For 2014, an increase of NOK 150 million is allocated for food security. The resources for 2014 will be channelled through bilateral, regional and multilateral initiatives. Focus areas include: promotion of climate-smart agriculture, remedial actions to reduce food losses; research and knowledge development in the area of food security; support for small-scale fisheries and fishery management; private sector development, including public–private partnerships; and strengthening the role of civil society in improving food and nutrition security.

The Government intends to launch a new programme called “Fish for Development”. This will increase the focus on fisheries and the harvesting of other marine resources in Norwegian aid. The starting point for this initiative is the need expressed by developing countries for the world-leading expertise that Norwegian institutions and authorities have in this field. The programme will be made up of modules on management, legislation, research and education, inspection and control, environmental and climate issues, competence-building, and private-sector development. An important part of the programme for 2014 will be beginning construction of a new research vessel to replace Dr. Fridtjof Nansen. Relevant Norwegian expertise will be involved in the development of the various modules.

The aim is for the programme to extend over several budget years, with allocations to be continued after the research vessel is completed, according to plan, in 2016.

1.8    Report on Norwegian development cooperation in 2012

In 2012, the Government continued to develop a more strategic development policy with focus on areas in which Norway has particular knowledge and expertise. Under the overarching theme of climate, conflict and capital, emphasis has been placed on targeted development policy efforts to improve conditions for the poor and to promote sustainable development. This report focuses mainly on the amount and distribution of aid in 2012. More detailed information about the results of development cooperation can be found under the various programme categories, chapters and items. A summary of results at country level is published on Norad’s country pages (norad.no).

Official development assistance (ODA) in 2012

NOK 27.6 billion, or 0.93 % of Norway’s GNI, was paid out over the development budget in 2012.

Tabell 1.1 Total ODA by type of assistance, 2009-2012 (in NOK billion)

Type of assistance

2009

2010

2011

2012

Country and/or sector-specific assistance1

17.9

70 %

18.6

70 %

18.5

69 %

19.2

69 %

Core funding to multilateral organisations2

6.3

25 %

6.4

24 %

6.7

25 %

6.9

25 %

Administration

1.4

5 %

1.5

5 %

1.5

6 %

1.5

6 %

Total

25.6

100 %

26.4

100 %

26.7

100 %

27.6

100 %

1               Bilateral and multi-bilateral assistance

2               Multilateral assistance

As can be seen in Table 1.1, over the past four years the distribution of Norwegian development assistance between multilateral assistance and assistance earmarked for specific countries or sectors has been quite stable. A large share of the sector-specific assistance was also channelled through multilateral actors, which as a group administer slightly less than half of the total development budget.

Tabell 1.2 Total bilateral development assistance by main region, 20092012 (in NOK billion); includes both bilateral and multi-bilateral assistance

Main region

2009

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

Africa

5.7

32 %

5.7

31 %

6.1

33 %

5.6

29 %

America

0.9

5 %

1.4

7 %

1.4

8 %

2.1

11 %

Asia and Oceania

2.7

15 %

3.2

17 %

2.8

15 %

2.7

14 %

Europe

0.6

4 %

0.7

4 %

0.6

3 %

0.7

3 %

Middle East

0.8

5 %

0.9

5 %

0.9

5 %

1.1

6 %

Global unspecified

7.2

40 %

6.7

36 %

6.6

36 %

7.1

37 %

Total

17.9

100 %

18.6

100 %

18.5

100 %

19.2

100 %

Table 1.2 shows the distribution of total bilateral assistance according to main region. The geographic distribution of development assistance has been relatively stable, excluding the climate and forest initiative and energy projects in Brazil. As in previous years, Africa was the region that received the greatest share of bilateral assistance in 2012. Expenses related to refugees in Norway are included in “Global unspecified”. Development assistance that is not distributed geographically also includes thematically earmarked funding through multilateral organisations. The UN organisations distribute these funds in accordance with guidelines that Norway has been involved in establishing through its board participation. These guidelines give priority to countries facing the greatest challenges within the mandate of the individual organisation. As a result, most of the funding from the UN organisations is allocated to low-income countries, the majority of which are located in Africa. Through dialogue and use of the guidelines related to development assistance, much of the thematic support channelled through the international financial institutions is also allocated to the poorest countries in Africa.

Figur 1.1 The five countries receiving the greatest share of Norwegian bilateral development assistance in 2012, 20092012 (in NOK million)

In 2012 there were 111 countries that received Norwegian development assistance. For most of these, the support was limited in scope and included individual project funding through Norwegian NGOs and forgiven loans for international students. For 25 countries, bilateral Norwegian development assistance comprised NOK 100 million or more. The recipients of the largest share of Norwegian development assistance were allocated funding over different budget items, for various purposes and through many channels. As in previous years, fragile states such as South Sudan, Palestine and Afghanistan were among the major recipients of Norwegian development assistance in 2012. In addition to funding from regional allocations, these countries also received humanitarian aid and support through the global allocations for peace and reconciliation, civil society and transitional assistance (South Sudan). Brazil received the most Norwegian development assistance in 2012, due primarily to the climate and forest initiative, and the clean energy initiative. A debt instrument of NOK 1 billion was issued to Brazil, but it is not included in the development assistance accounts for 2012.

Tabell 1.3 Development assistance by partner category, 20092012 (in NOK million); includes bilateral, multi-bilateral and multilateral assistance

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

Government actors, total:

5 689

23 %

5 821

23 %

5 407

21 %

5 992

23 %

Government actors in developing countries

2 105

9 %

2 242

9 %

1 803

7 %

2 084

8 %

Government actors in Norway

3 326

14 %

3 348

13 %

3 127

12 %

3 656

14 %

Government actors in other donor countries

259

1 %

231

1 %

476

2 %

252

1 %

Private sector, total:

854

4 %

728

3 %

1 181

5 %

728

3 %

Private sector in Norway

175

1 %

175

1 %

207

1 %

219

1 %

Private sector in other countries

567

2 %

347

1 %

818

3 %

372

1 %

Consultants

113

0 %

207

1 %

157

1 %

137

1 %

NGOs/foundations, total:

5 436

22 %

5 616

22 %

5 917

24 %

5 950

23 %

Norwegian

3 566

15 %

3 620

14 %

3 518

14 %

3 711

14 %

International

1 125

5 %

1 197

5 %

1 500

6 %

1 279

5 %

Local

744

3 %

799

3 %

899

4 %

960

4 %

Multilateral organisations

12 105

50 %

12 615

51 %

12 476

50 %

13 266

51 %

Public–private partnerships

105

0 %

131

1 %

106

0 %

119

0 %

Unspecified

47

0 %

61

0 %

63

0 %

53

0 %

Total

24 237

100 %

24 972

100 %

25 150

100 %

26 107

100 %

Table 1.3 shows the distribution of the total amount of development assistance, excluding administrative costs, by category of actor responsible for implementation. As expenses for refugees in Norway are approved as ODA, the category “Norwegian government actor” appears as a major channel for development assistance.

Tabell 1.4 Multilateral organisations: recipients of the largest share of Norwegian development assistance in 2012, 20092012 (in NOK billion)

05J1xt2

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

UNDP

2.0

2.1

2.0

1.9

UNICEF

1.3

1.3

1.3

1.4

UN other

3.6

3.7

3.7

3.7

World Bank Group

2.6

2.9

2.9

3.3

Regional development banks

0.9

0.9

0.8

1.0

GAVI

0.5

0.5

0.4

0.6

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

0.4

0.4

0.5

0.5

Other multilateral organisations

0.9

0.8

0.9

1.0

Total

12.1

12.6

12.5

13.3

The UN system received the most funding among the multilateral partners. More than 74 % of the funding was allocated to 10 organisations. 

Of the NOK 1 355 million allocated to UNICEF, core funding accounted for NOK 450 million. For UNDP, the core funding was NOK 770 million.

Tabell 1.5 Norwegian NGOs: the six recipients of the most Norwegian development assistance in 2012, 20092012 (in NOK million)

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

Norwegian Red Cross

435

473

456

587

Norwegian Refugee Council

452

552

525

501

Norwegian Church Aid

453

469

408

407

Norwegian People’s Aid

385

344

365

354

Save the Children Norway

218

200

183

175

Digni

143

145

151

164

Others

1 480

1 436

1 430

1 523

Total

3 566

3 620

3 518

3 712

In 2012, 14 % of the total development budget was channelled through Norwegian NGOs. The four largest organisations received about half of this funding. Funding is allocated over many different budget chapters and items depending on the purpose of the assistance. The grant schemes for civil society and humanitarian aid account for the largest proportion of the total amount. For a more detailed overview, please refer to the attachments showing development assistance administered by Norwegian NGOs and foundations according to budget chapter and item.

 


[1] Meld. St. 25 (2012–2013).

[2] Meld. St. 14 (2010–2011).

[3] Meld. St. 13 (2008-2009).

[4] Meld. St. 33 (2011–2012).

[5] Meld. St. 11 (2011–2012).

[6] Meld. St. 19 (2012–2013).

 

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