The goal of humanitarian action is to save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity in humanitarian crises. The coronavirus pandemic is making the situation even more difficult for people who are already vulnerable. The Government has therefore proposed increasing the humanitarian budget by NOK 38.2 million in order to address the extraordinary challenges posed by the pandemic.
This allocation comes in addition to the already record-high humanitarian budget of NOK 5.5 billion for 2020.
The funding will be used to ensure that vital humanitarian efforts can be maintained, as humanitarian organisations are now facing significant challenges in reaching people in need of protection and humanitarian assistance in many countries. Border closures and difficulties in transporting goods and personnel are also increasing costs for humanitarian organisations.
‘We know that the coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating an already difficult situation for people in countries affected by conflict and crisis. Our support will help humanitarian organisations meet urgent humanitarian needs like access to food, water, shelter and education. The target groups are refugees, internally displaced people and other particularly vulnerable groups,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The increased allocation will primarily go to the World Food Programme’s international humanitarian logistics operations.
‘The work that the World Food Programme does in terms of transporting humanitarian aid workers and medical and emergency relief supplies within and between countries, and setting up field hospitals for health workers and humanitarian aid workers, is crucial in ensuring that humanitarian actors can maintain a presence and continue to provide protection and assistance to those who are most in need. This part of the response is still severely underfunded despite the fact that this work is so vital to all humanitarian organisations,’ Ms Søreide said.