Norwegian Church Aid has signed an agreement of record size with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. The agreement provides a total of NOK 1.75 billion over five years to support Norwegian Church Aid’s sustainable development work in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world.
‘Norwegian Church Aid has achieved excellent results. Many of its partners are faith-based actors who have an especially important role to play now as the coronavirus crisis threatens people in developing countries. Norwegian Church Aid specialises in water, sanitation and hygiene, and we know access to water and improved hygiene will be crucial in this situation – not least for marginalised and vulnerable groups,’ said Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein.
The NOK 350 million in annual support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) will mainly go towards the organisation’s efforts in 17 countries, but will also be put to work through global ecumenical cooperation. The funding comes from different parts of the assistance budget, and three quarters of it will be directed towards sub-Saharan Africa. The new agreement includes a 12 per cent increase in efforts to strengthen civil society.
Norwegian Church Aid focuses on gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health as well as peacebuilding, climate-smart agriculture, job creation and economic inequality.
‘We know how important an active civil society is for development in any country. Norwegian Church Aid’s work in support of sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa is of great importance. The organisation’s cooperation with strong local partners also enables them better to face the coronavirus crisis,’ said Mr Ulstein.
In order for Norwegian Church Aid and other organisations to be able to intensify vital activities, they now have the opportunity to rearrange significant parts of the budget in existing agreements without prior approval from Norad.