In the revised budget, the Government has proposed an increase in the humanitarian budget of NOK 116 million. This comes in addition to the existing humanitarian budget for 2018, which totals NOK 5.15 billion.
‘Because of the decline in the number of asylum seekers coming to Norway, we are able to help more people in the areas where the needs are greatest, within the framework of the adopted aid budget. Some of the unused funds will now be transferred to the humanitarian budget,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
‘I am deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Yemen and DR Congo. This additional allocation will initially be used to help meet the massive humanitarian needs created by these crises,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The situation in Yemen is currently being described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. According to UN estimates, almost 80 % of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. The needs have increased considerably over the last two years.
In DR Congo, the UN estimates that some 13.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. The needs have increased significantly since last year. The UN expects the situation to deteriorate further, due to protracted conflict, political uncertainty and economic challenges.
The funds allocated to Yemen and DR Congo will be used to provide food, water, health services and protection for the civilian population, among other things.
According to the 2018 UN global humanitarian appeal, 136 million people in 26 countries are in need of humanitarian aid and protection. The UN is calling for USD 22.5 billion in order to respond to the various crises. Norway’s humanitarian funds are mainly channelled through the UN, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and Norwegian NGOs.