‘Once again, it seems likely that humanitarian needs will reach record heights. The UN global humanitarian appeal estimates that more than 130 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2019. As 2018 draws to a close, Norway has disbursed an additional NOK 240 million from the humanitarian budget to alleviate the worst and most underfunded crises,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The Government has been stepping up its humanitarian efforts for a number of years. With the allocation for 2019, support for humanitarian efforts will have increased by nearly 65 percent since 2013. In August 2018, Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide launched a new humanitarian strategythat will form the basis for Norway’s humanitarian policy and aid in the years to come.
‘We need to increase humanitarian efforts in order to save lives, alleviate suffering and protect those who are most vulnerable in the many protracted, complex crises we are facing. At the same time, humanitarian aid cannot be our only response. Our new humanitarian strategy sets out an integrated approach to preventing humanitarian crises and reducing humanitarian needs. The Government will therefore increase development aid to states and regions affected by conflict and fragility in 2019,’ Ms Søreide Eriksen said.
Venezuela is one of the crises that have been given high priority for humanitarian aid towards the end of 2018. The humanitarian situation in Venezuela has gone from bad to worse during the course of the year, and has resulted in a rapidly growing refugee crisis with a major impact on the region.
Norway has also provided an additional year-end contribution to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), bringing the total for the year to NOK 455 million. CERF is a vital mechanism for rapid response to acute and underfinanced crises.
Norway’s humanitarian aid is channelled through the UN, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and Norwegian humanitarian organisations.