First we would like to thank UNHCR for the presentation of the updated Global Appeal for 2018-19 and for the introductions today. We would also, as others, like to thank High Commissioner Grandi and UNHCR for their relentless efforts to provide protection and assistance to refugees and IDPs. We also pay tribute to UNHCR’s staff in the field who so often work in difficult circumstances.
Norway is concerned by the budgetary constraints UNHCR is facing, reflecting the continued growth in needs that we have seen over the past years.
We are pleased to announce that Norway will, subject to parliamentary approval medio December, contribute NOK 350 million, approximately USD 44 million, to support UNHCR’s core activities in 2018.
This support should be seen as a clear signal that Norway sees UNHCR as a strategic partner and that we want to sustain our cooperation to protect and assist forcibly displaced persons.
As in previous years, this is non-earmarked support which can be spent across all four pillars of UNHCR’s budget. We believe that this will help ensure the necessary level of flexibility and predictability, and help alleviate a difficult funding situation.
In addition, Norway will provide funding for Refugee Response Plans, supplementary appeals and other appeals throughout the year. So far this year, Norway’s contributions to UNHCR amounts to around USD 92 million.
Education in emergencies and protracted crises is a key priority for Norway. More than 8% of Norway’s humanitarian budget is earmarked for education. We are pleased to continue to provide support for the UNHCR and its partners in this field.