As delivered by First Secretary Magnus Forberg Andersen
Thank you, Chair,
Let me convey our thanks to UNHCR for the report on its Grand Bargain commitments. Norway’s own commitment to the Grand Bargain has been repeated in this forum on numerous occasions. We continue to see the Grand Bargain as a catalyst for institutional and system-wide change across the humanitarian sector.
Norway recently launched its new humanitarian strategy, in which the Grand Bargain is an integral part. Priorities include:
- A commitment to provide more flexible and predictable funding
- A commitment to prioritize cash assistance across sectors in a way that ensures the greatest possible freedom of choice for the recipients
- A commitment to strengthen local and national capacity, for example through increased contributions to the country based pooled funds
- A commitment to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus
In his regard, we are pleased to see that UNHCR is following up along the lines of similar commitments. In regard to the localization agenda, we note that UNHCR is on track to reach its target by 2020.
Concerning the commitment to increase the use of cash, we regret the decrease in overall use of this modality from 2016 to 2017, and note the reasons for this. We urge the UNHCR to increase efforts further in order to reach its target of doubling the proportion of overall assistance by 2020. We encourage an approach where cash is used across sectors in a way that ensures the greatest possible freedom of choice for the recipients. As we see it, the global increase in humanitarian needs cannot be addressed without a transition to cash-based assistance where possible. We would also appreciate, in future reporting, the inclusion of the baseline, in terms of proportion of cash assistance, for easy reference by standing committee members.
Norway also thanks the UNHCR for the reporting on the CRRF. We reiterate our deep appreciation of those countries that have agreed to roll out the framework. By doing so, they signal a readiness to lead the way to a global change for improved refugee response. We particularly welcome Afghanistan’s announcement to apply the CRRF, as well as the notable progress in the African and Latin-American countries that apply the framework.
Thank you, Chair.