Additional famine relief in 2017

The Government has proposed to increase its allocation to humanitarian efforts by NOK 274 million in the revised budget. The additional funds will mainly go to Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeastern Nigeria, which are now being hit by a famine that has been described as the worst in the history of the UN.

`A rapid response is vital to save lives and prevent the situation from going from bad to worse. The new proposal will bring Norway’s total extraordinary humanitarian assistance for alleviating the famine in these countries to almost NOK 1 billion in 2017 so far,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The UN has called for USD 4.4 billion for famine relief in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeastern Nigeria. Norway has already provided NOK 673 million in 2017, and is thus a major donor. This allocation will now be increased substantially.

‘All of the four countries concerned are affected by armed conflict and attacks on the civilian population. By providing emergency lifesaving assistance, the international community can help to limit the scale of a disaster that we have seen coming, but it is vital to work in parallel to find political solutions that can prevent the situation from deteriorating further,’ said Mr Brende.

‘Around 20 million people in the four countries affected by famine are now in need of emergency assistance. The UN and humanitarian organisations have received less than a third of the funding they need. It is vital that the international community provides the help that is needed,’ said Mr Brende. 

The Norwegian funds will be used for humanitarian efforts and will be channelled through UN organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Norwegian humanitarian organisations. Norway’s humanitarian assistance focuses on lifesaving emergency relief, such as the provision of food, clean water, shelter, protection and basic health services.

Around NOK 220 million of the NOK 274 million increase in the humanitarian budget will go to the four countries affected by famine. Norway is also considering providing support for alleviating some of the protracted, underfunded emergencies that are currently being overshadowed by the biggest and most acute crises.

Norway is one of the largest contributors to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which is an important channel for providing rapid humanitarian relief. Norway is also providing humanitarian funding and long-term assistance through the UN and the World Bank.