Policy Updates

Each week, Donor Tracker's team of country-based experts bring you the most important policy and funding news across issue areas in the form of Policy Updates.

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Norway commits US$9 million for LIC climate adaptation

December 4, 2023 | Norway, Agricultural R&D, Climate | Share this update

On December 4, 2023, Norway announced that it will commit NOK100 million (US$9 million) to the LDC Fund to strengthen the capacity of LDCs to meet climate challenges.

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the four focus areas of the fund's strategy align well with the five pillars of the Norwegian climate adaptation strategy. Norwegian Minister for International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim emphasized the importance of early warning systems, climate services, nature-based solutions, and climate-resilient food production and infrastructure.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norwegian government and Socialist Left Party finalize 2024 budget, fall short of 1% ODA/GNI

December 3, 2023 | Norway, Agriculture | Share this update

On December 3, 2023, the Norwegian government and the opposition SV announced an agreement on Norway's 2024 state budget, which fell NOK2.1 billion (US$196 million) short of achieving the government's goal of 1% ODA/GNI to international development.

Negotiations on the 2024 state budget have been ongoing since November 13, 2023.

The agreement included an allocation of an additional NOK1 billion (US$93 million) to climate and forestry investments. This was the only change in the budget for international development.

Leader of the SV Kirsti Bergstø underlined that she believes it to be the governing party’s responsibility to achieve 1% ODA/GNI. Bergstø had previously announced that SV would not save 1% ODA/GNI at all costs during the budget negotiations. The SV argued that the government had previously stated the intention to commit 1% ODA/GNI to the UN SDGs, and that it was not the SV's duty to enforce the pledge.

Several public figures criticized the fact that the SV did not prioritize the 1% ODA/GNI target in negotiations.

Secretary-General of Norwegian Church Aid, which initially reported the funding shortfall, Dagfinn Høybråten described the agreement as deeply disappointing and incomprehensible. He underlined multiple extraordinary and intersecting global crises, including widespread war and conflict, a global food crisis, and a climate crisis requiring immediate action. Høybråten noted that Norway has enormous additional income from oil sales, putting it in a unique financial state to undertake development action. He asserted that in light of this, Norway should give significantly more 1% of GNI to international development rather than reducing its ambitions.

Secretary-General of Save the Children Birgitte Lange shared a similar disappointment. She argued that global extreme poverty is increasing and threatening increasing numbers of children. Lange also expressed disappointment that the SV did not use its negotiating power to push for more funding to international development.

Deputy leader of the Liberal Party Sveinung Rotevatn, which is a traditional ally of the SV in prioritizing international development, expressed his approval that the government and the SV committed to strengthening funding to welfare services in Norway. He noted, however, that he believes that Norway, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, should be able to allocate 1% of GNI to development.

News article - Panorama (in Norwegian)News article - Vårt Land (in Norwegian)

Norway pledges US$25 million to newly established Loss and Damage Fund

December 2, 2023 | Norway, Climate | Share this update

On December 2, 2023, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre committed an additional NOK270 million (US$25 million) to the new fund for loss and damage associated with climate change during the opening days pf COP28.

The fund was established in 2022 during at COP27.

Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim pointed out that the fund will be a supplement to existing initiatives. She emphasized that no single fund will be able to address the challenges of climate change on its own.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norway announces US$23 million for food security in Ukraine

November 25, 2023 | Norway, Nutrition, Agriculture | Share this update

On November 25, 2023, Norway pledged NOK200 million (US$19 million) to the WFP to support food security in Ukraine, including through the humanitarian food program Grain from Ukraine.

The announcement was presented during the Second International Summit on Food Security in Kiev, Ukraine. Norway also pledged NOK50 million (US$5 million) to the World Bank's URTF.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide underlined that Norway, particularly its Nansen Program, stands firmly by Ukraine. He emphasized that Norway had also not lost sight of the other global crises.

News article - Dagsavisen (in Norwegian)

Norway increases humanitarian assistance to Palestine

November 24, 2023 | Norway, Nutrition, WASH & Sanitation | Share this update

On November 24, 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced an increase of NOK470 million (US$44 million) in funding to Palestine, bringing total Norwegian international development funding to Palestine in 2023 to over NOK1.5 billion (US$140.5 million).

Norway previously pledged NOK200 million (US$19 million) to Gaza following the outbreak of violence on October 7, 2023. The additional funding will be channelled through Norway's partners who are present on the ground in Gaza, or through their partners. The support will go through the UN, the ICRC and Norwegian humanitarian organizations.

Norwegian Development Minister Anne Beathe Tvinnereim stated that the funding will help the population in Gaza with medicine, food, protection, water and other vital needs.

Tvinnereim emphasized her concern for the youngest children living in Gaza, who may suffer from permanent malnutrition over time. She announced an additional NOK30 million (US$3 million) in additional funding for food security through the UN FAO.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norway increases support to humanitarian partners in Ukraine

November 13, 2023 | Norway, Education, WASH & Sanitation | Share this update

On November 13, 2023, the Norwegian Government announced that it will allocate NOK1 billion (US$90 million) to the Norwegian Refugee Council, Norwegian Red Cross, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian People's Aid, Save the Children, NORCAP, and Caritas Norway.

The funding is slated to help Ukrainians that have lost their homes through shelter and WASH services, as well as education and healthcare.

Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide noted that Norway, in line with its Nansen program for Ukraine, will continue to provide emergency assistance and protection to millions of Ukrainians living under perilous conditions.

Norway has contributed over NOK4.5 billion (US$406 million) in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and refugee response in neighboring countries since 2022. The assistance is channeled primarily through the UN, the Red Cross movement, and Norwegian and international humanitarian organizations.

The organizations receiving support have multi-year strategic partnership agreements with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The newly launched funding was allocated through the multi-year Nansen program for Ukraine, which is managed by Norad.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Norwegian opposition presents alternative 2024 state budget

November 9, 2023 | Norway, Education, Climate | Share this update

On November 9, 2023, the opposition Norwegian SV presented its highly anticipated alternative state budget for 2024 to negotiate with the current minority government.

It is common for opposition parties to draft alternative budgets before state budget negotiations begin in Parliament.

SV spokesperson on international development Ingrid Fiskaa highlighted the need for a revised international development budget from the government in an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Panorama. She asserted that Norway must step up its international development ambitions, especially as Norway is generating large revenues from oil and gas sales. She made particular note of the current government's budget draft failing to meet the 1% ODA/GNI target.

However, SV party leader Kjersti Bergstø stated in an interview with Vårt Land that the SV does not see the 1% ODA/GNI target as a priority. She noted her belief that the government, not the opposition, should be responsible for achieving the target. Her comments received criticism from the opposition Liberal Party and the Christian Democratic Party, who noted that in times of severe global crises, it is disappointing that the SV is not prioritizing international development.

In the alternative state budget, the SV allocated an additional NOK8 billion (US$722 million) to the development budget. The budget also provided for the continuation of extra funding to LICs particularly affected by the consequences of the war in Ukraine.

The following increases were included in the alternative budget:

  • Human rights and civil society: NOK1550 million (US$139 million);
  • Palestinian refugees (via the UN organization UNRWA): NOK150 million (US$13.5 million);
  • Decentralized, small-scale renewable energy solutions: NOK220 million (US$20 million);
  • Long-term assistance to the Middle East, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and Latin America: NOK190 million (US$17 million);
  • Education: NOK100 million (US$9 million); and
  • Support for Norwegian organizations' work against nuclear weapons: NOK10 million (US$903,000).
Press release - Socialist Left Party (in Norwegian)News article - Panorama (in Norwegian)News article - Vårt Land (in Norwegian)

Norway launches gender equality action plan

October 30, 2023 | Norway, Gender Equality, Agriculture, Family Planning, Climate, Education | Share this update

On October 30, 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a new action plan for women's rights and gender equality in Norway's 2023-2030 foreign and development policy.

The action plan signaled equality as a priority within Norwegian foreign affairs. It underlined Norway's beliefs on the importance of strengthening women's rights in biodiversity conservation, sustainable management of natural resources, climate adaptation, and food security.

The plan stated that at least 50% of all bilateral development funding must have gender equality as a major or minor goal. The plan also stated that gender equality must be assessed across all development policy initiatives, particularly within the topics of climate, energy, and food security.

The five main tenets of the action plan were:

  • Everyone has the right and opportunity to decide on their own body;
  • Everyone has the right and opportunity to live their lives free of violence and harmful customs;
  • Everyone has equal economic rights and opportunities to participate in working life;
  • Everyone has equal political rights and opportunities to participate in public life; and
  • Everyone has the right and opportunity to participate in the work for climate, energy, and food security.

Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim expressed concerns over a growing opposition to women and girls having agency over their future. Several measures in the action plan are hoped to contribute to increase the international acceptance of SRHR, access to contraceptives and safe abortion, and sexuality education. Tvinnereim noted that it is more important than ever for Norway and other development actors support SRHR. She asserted that Norway will continue to be a global champion for girls and women, and that no one shall be subjected to GBV, child or forced marriage, or genital mutilation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norad, and the Norwegian foreign service must report annually on the plan's targets. The foreign service, which includes actors who manage Norwegian foreign and development policy funds, are responsible for implementing the action plan. A midterm review of the targets is planned for 2026, and an evaluation is planned for 2029. A new action plan for SRHR is to be presented in 2030.

Government document - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)News article - Panorama nyheter (in Norwegian)Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Norway, Ghana, UNFPA launch Equity 2030 Alliance

October 16, 2023 | Norway, Gender Equality, Global Health, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Family Planning | Share this update

On October 16, 2023, the governments of Norway and Ghana, alongside the UNFPA, launched the Equity 2030 Alliance, an initiative to employ data-driven strategies to create women-focused and gender-inclusive health solutions by 2030.

The initiative was launched at the WHS 2023 in Berlin, Germany. The BMZ was also listed as a member.

Speakers at the event noted that evidence shows that despite substantial recent progress in innovation and technology, many technological advancements do not address the needs of all populations. The absence of women in the design of global health innovations have often produced gender-blind solutions, particularly disadvantaging women. They promoted an ultimate goal to cultivate gender-equitable solutions for women's health with direct input from women, fostering economic growth and equality.

Web Page - Equity 2030 Alliance

Norway pledges to strengthen social safety nets in low-income countries

October 13, 2023 | Norway, Nutrition | Share this update

On October 13, 2023, during the World Banks's Annual Meetings in Marrakech, the Norwegian government announced a NOK100 million (US$9 million) pledge to the World Bank's work on strengthening the social safety nets in LICs affected by the war in Ukraine.

Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim noted that the funding will help increase the use of cash transfers and other forms of support for families affected by hunger and food insecurity. She emphasized that social safety nets contribute to family resilience and are important tools in long-term work to reduce poverty and inequality.

The Norwegian funding will be allocated through the World Bank's multi-donor RSR-ADSP. 50% of funding is financed through the Nansen program, the Norwegian funding package addressing the war in Ukraine. A portion of the funding is slated to be allocated to LICs severely affected by the war. A renewed involvement in the RSR-ADSP additionally aligns with the Norwegian government's strategy related to food safety. The Norwegian funding is planned to support projects on food safety and nutrition.

Norway previously supported the RSR-ADSP fund with NOK130 million (US$13 million). Other notable donors are the UK, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Germany and Russia.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)






US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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