Significant increase in aid to Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and refugees in neighbouring areas

According to new figures, refugee-related costs in Norway for 2017 are NOK 1,36 billion lower than projected. The Government has proposed that most of the unused funds should go to parts of the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa that are severely affected by war and conflict.

 

Significant   increase in aid to Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and refugees in   neighbouring areas  

According   to new figures, refugee-related costs in Norway for 2017 are NOK 1,36 billion   lower than projected. The Government has proposed that most of the unused   funds should go to parts of the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa that are   severely affected by war and conflict.

‘I am pleased that the   revised budget proposal will allow us to increase aid to countries in the   Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. The needs in these countries are huge,   both for long-term development assistance and for humanitarian aid,’ said   Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide. 

A large part of the   proposed increase of NOK 453 million to the humanitarian aid budget will be   used in South Sudan, Somalia, the Lake Chad region, and underfunded crises in   sub-Saharan Africa. The Government will also increase its support for the   humanitarian response in Bangladesh. ‘The situation of the 620 000   Rohingya who have been driven out of Myanmar into Bangladesh since August is   precarious. Much of additional funding under the humanitarian budget will   therefore be used on measures to alleviate their situation,’ said Ms Eriksen   Søreide. The Government also plans to increase Norway’s humanitarian aid to   Yemen.

‘For many years, the   Middle East has been plagued by wars and conflicts, and instability in one   country threatens the stability of neighbouring countries. That is why we   will intensify our efforts to promote stability and development in this   troubled region,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide. 

Under the budget chapter   for transitional assistance, the Government has proposed an increase of NOK   117 million to support UNDP’s stabilisation efforts in Iraq. The Government   has also proposed an increase of NOK 120 million for the World Bank’s fund   for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. The priorities set out in the   revised budget mean that Norway’s efforts to help refugees and internally   displaced people in neighbouring areas will be intensified. 

The Government has   proposed that the regional allocation for Africa in the revised 2017 budget   should be increased by NOK 90 million. The additional funding will go to   stabilisation funds in Somalia and DR Congo, the South Sudan Humanitarian   Fund, the World Bank’s and the UN’s efforts relating to South Sudanese   refugees in Uganda, and a fund that supports the peace process in the Central   African Republic.

In addition, the   Government plans to allocate NOK 20 million to Norfund. This funding will be   earmarked for a Nordic investment fund in Somalia.

As far as thematic   priority areas are concerned, the Government has proposed to increase   Norway’s support for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, by NOK 200 million, and to   increase funding for the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative   by NOK 90 million.