“Through its generous contribution to the EIF, Norway is supporting LDCs in playing a more active role in international trade and helping their people to benefit from the higher incomes and better jobs that trade can bring,” said Dr Okonjo-Iweala.
The world's poorest countries have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis due to the fragility of their economies and to disruptions in trade flows caused by a variety of trade-restrictive measures implemented by governments.
“Norway is pleased that its substantial contribution to the EIF’s important work will help least-developed countries use trade as a tool for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. This is vital to help these countries overcome the enormous challenges, which the pandemic has exacerbated,” said Ambassador Sørli.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the EIF and its country partners have adapted their projects to address pressing needs, from strengthening nascent tourism sectors to building the e-commerce capabilities of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and women-owned businesses. I thank Norway for helping LDCs forge ahead with developing their trade capabilities,” said the EIF's Executive Director, Ratnakar Adhikari.
Norway has been an EIF donor for 12 years. This latest contribution brings Norway's total EIF funding to NOK 345 million since the programme started in 2009.
The EIF's biannual Steering Committee serves as a forum for information exchange and a platform for LDC representatives, donors and development partners to provide guidance to ensure that the EIF can effectively deliver on its goals.
The EIF is the only multilateral partnership dedicated exclusively to assisting LDCs in using trade as an engine for growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction. The EIF partnership comprises 51 countries, 24 donors and eight partner agencies, including the WTO, that work closely with governments, development organizations, civil society and academia. The EIF — including its dedicated Trust Fund — is housed at the WTO and managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services .
More information on the EIF is available here.
Source: WTO | 2021 News items - Norway commits NOK 45 million to EIF to spur economic recovery in least-developed countries