The Government proposes to increase the humanitarian budget by about NOK 250 million in 2019.
‘Norway will be a driving force for rapid and effective humanitarian efforts. In Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and many other countries affected by conflict, natural disasters and other crises, there is a huge need for help,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Humanitarian needs in the world have strongly increased in recent years, and the crises have become more long lasting and complex. According to the UN, more people than ever need humanitarian assistance.
‘The Government has executed a powerful commitment to humanitarian efforts. Since 2013, we have increased the overall humanitarian budget by more than 50 %. In 2019 we propose spending almost NOK 5.4 billion to help victims of the world’s humanitarian crises,’ said the Foreign Minister.
Norway is a major donor to many of the greatest humanitarian crises in the world, even those crises that rarely appear in the media. In September 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed a four-year agreement with the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) for NOK 1.68 billion. The agreement allows the UN to help quickly when new crises emerge and assist so that under-financed crises receive needed funds.
‘Norway is one of the largest donor countries to the Syria crisis. By the end of 2019, the Government will have fulfilled its pledge of NOK 10 billion over four years to Syria and neighbouring countries,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The Government is concerned that humanitarian aid is used as efficiently as possible to reach as many people as possible with best efforts.
‘Our humanitarian budget will be maintained at a high level also in the years to come. The changes happening in the world mean that we have to think differently about things. As a result, we launched a new humanitarian strategy this August. As part of our budget proposal for 2019, we will follow up on this strategy with concrete measures,’ said the Foreign Minister.
The new strategy for Norway’s humanitarian policy will lay the guidelines for our efforts the next five years. The main priority areas will be protection of civilians, humanitarian innovation and a more comprehensive effort to prevent and reduce future humanitarian needs.
Norwegian humanitarian assistance goes mainly via the UN system, the Red Cross movement and Norwegian humanitarian organizations.