“We are one of the few countries in the world that fulfil the UN’s target for budget allocations to the fight against poverty,” said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.
In 2011, the development budget will amount to 1.02% of Norway’s gross national income (GNI).
The Government will increase its support for adaptation to climate change, with a particular emphasis on agriculture, women and food security. Africa’s agricultural sector depends on women. It is therefore crucial that they are able to deal with the effects of climate change. Norway’s efforts to promote clean energy and to help the victims of natural disasters will also be stepped up considerably.
“The very poorest people are seriously affected by climate change. Natural disasters force people to flee their homes and also destroy their livelihoods. It is therefore important that we enable poor people to deal with climate change better in the future,” said Mr Solheim.
There is an urgent need for energy in poor countries. Energy security is a precondition for economic growth and improved welfare. At the same time, it is essential to limit emissions. The financial crisis has made it more difficult to fund investments in new sources of energy in poor countries.
“We are doubling our efforts to promote clean energy and ensure that poor countries have access to clean, renewable energy. During the next 50 years, developing countries will account for the greatest increases in energy consumption. The enhanced focus on clean energy is therefore also an important element in our efforts to combat climate change,” said Mr Solheim.
Involving private investors is an important aspect of our clean energy initiative. The Government is therefore increasing the allocation to Norfund (the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries). In addition it will support energy projects in Africa and Asia, with a particular focus on India.
The Government will step up efforts to increase poor countries’ tax revenues and to prevent illicit capital flows, which drain them of huge financial resources.
“Development comes to a halt when money disappears like that. We will work to increase investments in and trade with poor countries. At the same time, we will look at ways of generating funds for development,” said Mr Solheim.
The Government will continue to focus on conflict resolution and peace, human rights and humanitarian aid, women and gender equality, good governance, institution-building and anti-corruption. It will also continue its work to reduce child and maternal mortality.
In 2011, the Government proposes to increase its development assistance as follows:
A doubling of the allocation for its clean energy initiative, bring it up to about NOK 1.6 billion (USD 270 million.
An increase of NOK 335 million (USD 57 million) in the allocation for adaptation to climate change in the agricultural sector, food security and prevention of natural disasters.