The Government is seeking to boost life-saving assistance and humanitarian efforts in high-priority areas such protection of civilians and innovation by entering new multi-year partnership agreements with the Norwegian Refugee Council (including NORCAP), the Norwegian Red Cross, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian People’s Aid, Save the Children and Caritas Norway.
‘These agreements will provide a predictable and flexible funding for our most important partners among the Norwegian humanitarian organisations, and will help to improve their response capacity in the world’s many protracted and complex crises. We now see the importance of flexibility as organisations are having to make rapid changes to maximise access to people who need protection and vital humanitarian assistance such as food, water, hygiene and health services. The restrictions introduced to control COVID-19 have made it challenging for the humanitarian organisations to carry out their work,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The strategic partnerships are a new arrangements agreed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the organisations following an open, in-depth application process with clear specifications. The partnerships will enhance operational response based on humanitarian principles while highlighting key humanitarian policy issues such as compliance with international humanitarian law.
‘I am confident that these partnership agreements will be of help in implementing the Government’s humanitarian strategy in areas we both prioritise. These areas include the protection of children, protection from sexualised and gender-based violence, protection of refugees and internally displaced people, and protection of civilians from landmines and other explosives. I am also determined to see Norway at the forefront of promoting innovation, so that humanitarian efforts become more robust and effective,’ said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In recent years, humanitarian needs around the world have increased even though the humanitarian budgets of donor countries have never been larger. With the spread of COVID-19, humanitarian needs are expected to increase further. Norway’s combined humanitarian budget for 2020 is at a record level of just over NOK 5.5 billion. Innovation in key areas such as cash-based assistance and renewable energy will increase the number of beneficiaries while enabling crisis affected people to participate in humanitarian efforts.
The partnership agreements run for four years and have a total annual financial frame of NOK 1.7 billion. The agreements provide both predictability and flexibility for Norwegian humanitarian organisations in their efforts to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity.
Other parts of the Norwegian humanitarian budget are channelled through the United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as well as to Norwegian organisations other than those that have entered into strategic partnership agreements.